Prints: Otero County Franciscan Missions
any people in the Tularosa Basin will remember Theron M. Trombeau and the Sleepy Burro Art School in La Luz. In fact, several of his students still live in this area. And his work can be seen in many places in the Basin.
In 1975, he donated some of his art to the Tularosa Basin Historical Society museum. Not the least were his renditions of the eight Franciscan missions in Otero County. Prints, ready-to-frame, have been made of these lovely works of art and are available for purchase at the Museum at 1301 N. White Sands Blvd. Individual churches or portfolio of all eight are ready for your inspection. Ted Harrington of Bennett Printing, who has produced these prints for the museum, plans to create note cards bearing a picture of these same churches in the near future.
Born in Kansas, Mr. Trombeau was enthralled by all he read about New Mexico and at the age of fifteen he hitchhiked to our state. He vowed to return one day to stay. After he attended business college and tried to establish a career in the business world, he quit in 1940 to follow his dream. He came to this area and began a successful career as a wrier and an artist.
In 1958, he established the Sleepy Burro Art School. Soon one had to get on the waiting list to take lessons there. He inspired many budding artists to pursue their interests.
Mr. Trombeau donated paintings to the State Capitol in Santa Fe, as well as to the Museum, and his painting of the original Otero County Court House can still be viewed in the main hallway of the present courthouse. His daughter, Judith I. Shelton, states that she knows he would be very proud that his work is now benefiting the Historical Society.
You are invited to come and view the original paintings, which have been re-framed with archival materials by Copeland’s Frame Shop, and to see the beautiful prints. While you are there, tell us if you were one of Trombeau’s students.