The co-op celebrates its 45th anniversary with a new piece of art.
Mountain View Market Co+op celebrates its 45th anniversary with a mural in the co-op’s café by local artist Victor Whitmill.
Mountain View Market Co+op was founded in 1975 by a group of individuals who wanted increased access to natural foods and bulk goods. Initially functioning as a buying club, the group moved to a new location and opened it to the public as the Organ Mountain Food Co-op.
In the time since then, the co-op has moved locations a few times and even changed its name; it has always kept its commitment to providing the people of Las Cruces and the surrounding area with fresh, local, and organically-grown foods.
The co-op has faced some hardships and hurdles with rising to the challenge of the new competition and meeting a rapidly changing retail environment. However, Mountain View Market Co+op continues to look for new and sustainable ways to serve the community. When the COVID-29 pandemic hit, the co-op was ready to respond with increased sanitizing, metered shopping, one-way aisles, and partitions and barriers to help protect staff and shoppers. The store’s supply chain remained largely unaffected due to their work with smaller and local companies. The co-op’s owners and shoppers showed an immense outpouring of love and support for the store, which celebrates its 45th year of operation in 2020. Plans for a celebration in April were put on hold. The co-op looks forward to celebrating its milestone with the community as soon as it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, Mountain View Market Co+op celebrates some new art in its café seating area in the form of a mural on its Southern wall.
The mural was designed and painted by Las Cruces artist Victor Whitmill with assistance from his wife. Whitmill created the piece as a celebration of the fauna, flora, and geological formations that make our area unique. The painting features a jackrabbit, prickly pear cactus, gently rolling hills, the Organ Mountains, and a rendering of the infamous New Mexico sky. He was inspired by the past of the co-op and artist Peter Max while designing the image. The color palette was selected based on the warm sunset colors of the Southwest. The mural was gifted to the co-op to commemorate its 45th anniversary. It was completed over the course of three evenings in July Whitmill says “Mountain View Market Co-op in an honest to goodness grassroots organization; a cornerstone in Las Cruces. It’s the real deal, and I’m proud to have my work in it”. Interim general manager, Clair Campos adds, “I am very thankful to Victor and Corinne Whitmill for donating their time and making our co-op beautiful. We have a lot of exciting plans for the future, and this is just the beginning.”
The mural is a departure in style from Whitmill’s usual body of work which often depicts surreal explorations of figure and form. Examples of his oil paintings and graphite work are available to view at Art Obscura in Mesilla Park and online at www.vwhitmill.com.
Mountain View Market Co+op is located at 1300 El Paseo Road, Suite M, Las Cruces, New Mexico and is open on Sundays from 9 am to 3 pm and Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm.
Mountain View Market Co+op is a community-owned natural foods store specializing in organic and local food with an attached kitchen and café in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It has been proudly serving the people of Southern New Mexico since 1975.
All accompanying photos:
Courtesy of Jim Rodgers