Maya AviÃ±a teaches fine arts at CSU in Pueblo, Colorado. For about the past ten years, sheâ€™s been immersed in natural building, which she has also made into the focus of her research at the college. Last year, she invited me to come be an â€œartist in residenceâ€ and do a mural project. The challenge was to bring life into dead space:Â a bleak, harsh, hard-edged, institutional (college) courtyard of grey and yellow concrete pressed down by massive, overhanging soffit walls of more cast concrete. It looked (and felt) like a pen in a zoo designed so the animals below couldnâ€™t hide from viewers on the high, overhanging walls. In two days, however, a group of about a dozen of us made designs, mixed up a bunch of mud, and transformed the space. Below is my account, with photos, magazine format. And here’s a link to Maya’s website, which has more photos, particular details of the process, and a video.
A beautiful and inspiring story, thank you for writing. So wanting to get my hands dirty, do have an oven build in my future to look forward to. Virginia dirt.