Once Upon A Story Time, Summer 2013-2014
Photo image of "Once Upon a Storytime" mosaic mural at the Juan Tabo Library

This mosaic by the Mayor’s Art Institute is dedicated to New Mexico authors and oral traditions.  At the center of the mural, a storyteller recounts a tale by a fire.  The glow of the fire contains tiles inscribed with rock art imagery – the original written stories of New Mexico.  The imagery on the walls behind her includes Spiderwoman in her web, Rudolfo Anaya’s golden carp from Bless Me, Ultima, Simon Ortiz’ horses in the sky from “The Way You See Horses,” Pat Mora’s tortilla raft from Dona Flor. a winged chile from Denise Chavez’ Face of an Angel, and a rainstorm such as those described by Ernie Pyle, Edna Ferguson, and others. Many more authors’ names are inscribed on books in the landscape.  A rainbow, a theme common in New Mexican stories, bridges the two sides of the mural.  Embedded in the rainbow are hexagons containing ancient scripts from across the globe. The scripts are grouped in clusters that represent different geographic regions: Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.  The child reading on the grass is a representation of all children; he emphasizes the importance of literacy at all ages, and the wonder of the imaginary worlds we enter through books and stories.  Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque Poet Laureate, collaborated with the artists to create a poem that is stamped into the mural.

Lead Apprentices

Karly Catron-Cardell

Staci Drangmeister

Will Geusz

Lead Artists

Vanessa Alvarado

Margarita Paz-Pedro

Cassandra Reid

Poet Laureate

Hakim Bellamy

This Project Was Funded By


New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps

City of Albuquerque Public Art Program

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library

Heart Gallery of New Mexico Foundation