Keeping New Mexico History Alive

Elfego Baca Project



Statue as it stands today in Reserve, NM.

Life-size clay model

James Muir with statue

Bronze Model

Clay model of Statue and Jacal

James N. Muir standing with the life-size bronze statue of Elfego Baca during the on-site setup of the statue to be installed May 24, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. in Reserve, New Mexico.

James Muir was awarded the prestigious Olaf Weighorst Award at the Mountain Oyster Show in Tucson, Arizona, for the maquette of the lifesize Baca Memorial.

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"I am proud to have been selected for this monumental sculpture. It has great importance and messages for humanity. I look forward to working with the town of Reserve in their vision and dedication to the preservation of this true hero. I see this memorial for Elfego Baca as a testimony to the power of one human being to stand up, alone if necessary, against the oppression of tyranny in order that others may live free……….."  James Muir

Artist's Concept: This sculpture is a tribute to a "Courageousness" that transcends ethnic or temporal differences and pays honor to the highest and best that lies deep within all human beings. The objective is not to further the divisiveness of bigotry that Elfego Baca fought against, and which continues to this day, but rather to unite us all in the relentless struggle against tyranny.

Rendering: The design captures Baca's signature moment - his single-handed gunfight against an overwhelming force of 80 Texas cowboys in Reserve, New Mexico. He is stepping up through a doorway in the demolished wall of the "jacal", as if rising from a grave into the light of life, with a determination born of true courage. He has looked death in the eyes and not flinched for his strength comes from a higher Power.

Funding: Through the hard work of the Elfego Baca Project members and lawmakers within the State of New Mexico, funding was granted to the project for the memorial.

Dedication: The statue and memorial site was dedicated on Saturday, May 24, 2008.