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ONLY ON ABC-7: Restoring the Chamizal murals

By Stephanie Valle, Anchor and Reporter, StephanieV@kvia.com
Published On: May 28 2014 10:49:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2014 11:50:59 AM CDT

Reporter: Stephanie Valle

EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso artist Carlos Flores has been out of the spotlight for years. His name recently came back into the forefront as preservationists fight to save the Lincoln Center -- home of several of his murals.

ABC-7 tracked him down last week -- and Wednesday afternoon, he showed off his latest project.

"Everything in a way is the same. But in a way, it's changed already," said Flores as he gestured to one of several large murals gracing the exterior wall of the Chamizal National Memorial Visitors Center.

After 22 years, Flores' mural, "Nuestra Herencia," or "Our Heritage," is getting a facelift.

"You can see the difference between this mural right now, and how it was -- you can see on the other wall over there," Flores said, as he pointed to the wall on the westernmost side of the building, which depicts the profiles of an African-American and Native American on either side of an Anglo-American.

Flores has spent the last five months restoring the artwork. He's also spent that time learning about himself and how he's changed.

"I do things differently," Flores said. "You do evolve in the way you think and draw and paint. You either get better or get worse, but you change."

Another change this time around: The artist is joined by his son, Marcos.

"It's an amazing feeling to be fixing it, giving it life again," said Marcos Flores.

He's an artist in his own right and told ABC-7 he prefers to focus on photography. But he's relishing the opportunity to follow in his father's paint strokes.

"I remember wishing there was a way I could help -- a way to fix it," Marcos said. "At that point I never imagined I would be working on it."

Meanwhile, Carlos Flores told ABC-7 this is more than restoring, redoing or replicating his artwork.

"It's like an old song," he said. "You go ahead and sing it the way you feel it. So you change (it). It's the same song, the same painting, the same emotion behind that painting."

The pair hope to be complete with the restoration in the next three to four months.

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