Shepard Fairey Creates Anti-War, Pro-Art Mural on New Mexico College Campus

Some colleges in the Southwest get James Turrell Skypaces, others get Shepard Fairey murals. The Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) in New Mexico is one of the latter: The renowned L.A. street artist was on campus earlier this month to take part in the school’s Artists for Positive Social Change series, and after taking students’ questions on February 17 he stuck around a few days to give them a new permanent public artwork.

The resulting mural, “Make Art Not War,” occupies a 30 by 15 foot wall near the art school’s bandshell. SFUAD student Randy Martinez helped Fairey and his crew create the large stencil and paint mural, which features the Obey Giant creator’s trademark black, red, and off-white palette.

“I enjoy any opportunity to share my work and my philosophy that art can be about aesthetics and escapism, but simultaneously ideas and engagement,” Fairey said in a statement. “I strive to erode the perceived barriers between fine art and graphic art. My public art and many other chosen platforms are democratic and invite the audience into the dialog.”

“Few visual artists working today have impacted contemporary culture as Shepard has,” David Scheinbaum, SFUAD artist-in-residence, director of photography, and the creator of the Artists for Positive Social Change series, said. “Not without controversy, Shepard is an artist who has stayed consistent with his message and offered his work for use by numerous politically active groups, as well as to reinforce his own thoughts and opinions.”


— Benjamin Sutton

(Photos via Santa Fe University of Art and Design/Facebook.)