Today would've been Delma M. Petrullo's 64th birthday had she not left us so suddenly at the age of 60. Yet, in the short time that she lived here in the city of Rio Rancho, she left really BIG tracks! Positive ones, at that. She had an incredible way of bringing people together for a single cause and also had an incredible gift of vision for our city and what it can become. She had thoroughly 'infected' my husband, Mark and I with her vision.
And, how I wish she were here to see all the positive changes that have been occurring. The Art Commission that she so dreamed of having is now in it's 3rd year. And, I will say, that we now have a full commission (we've gone for more than a year with just a partially filled commission). For the first time, we have people who seem to all be passionate and committed to being a commissioner and that we all are on the same page. It is simply quite amazing.
In addition, the presence of public art pieces in our city is growing steadily. The latest and perhaps most exciting piece was completed by Matthew Lutz and is called "Gateway to Lupus". Based on the constellation, Lupus, it graces the southwest corner of the UNM West building. Lupus in Latin translates to 'wolf' .
Gateway to Lupus sculpture done by Matthew Lutz. Photo by Paula Scott
And, the non-profit status that she so hoped for for the Rio Rancho Art Association looks like it is not far from becoming a reality (once and for all). The paperwork was sent off to the IRS last week and I know that all the 'i's were dotted and t's crossed' before it was sent in. That in itself is monumental. The direction of the art association has also been on the path that she originally intended it to go-our community outreach programs are strong and effective. We also have wonderful, new members joining, so the diversity of the membership continues to grow. Most of our venues boast regular sales. A new website is about to be launched.
Today, Mark and I joined Robert and his friends and family for a small gathering to pay tribute and to celebrate Delma's birthday. Delma now has a headstone at her grave site at Vista Verde Memorial. Now, anyone can go and 'visit' her. The image on her headstone is one of a painting that she had done in her last year. I think that it might have been amongst the last several paintings that she had done before she lost her battle with cancer.
I'd like to think that Delma is still orchestrating things where she is now. Too many 'serendipitous' things have happened along the way since she passed. I don't question them, but I do think that she has had a hand in it somehow or other.
We miss her like crazy. Mark and Delma used to fantasize how much fun they'd have if they were both city councilors. I know they would've. I think it odd too, that the councilor that was appointed to take her place and then later ran for and won her district has yet to appear at one of the art commission meetings. The very thing that Delma was adamant about (that it was important to have an art commission). It's really odd because it was Delma that had convinced this councilor to get involved.
The inscription on her headstone is one of the things she said a lot (that, and 'you can make a difference if you get involved').
"We will be known forever by the tracks that we leave."
What tracks are you leaving?
You have a choice.