LITTLEROCK — Visitors to Littlerock have something new to greet them as they drive east along Pearblossom Highway — a 10-foot-tall horse sculpture.
The rearing horse stands next to the stone and wood “Welcome to Littlerock” sign erected in 2018 by then-teenager Erek Flores for his Eagle Scout project. The sign and the art piece are on the south side of the road at approximately 72nd Street East as motorists cross over the wash on Pearblossom Highway.
Local artist Carlos Mendoza painted a colorful mural depicting the town of Littlerock on the metal horse, which was donated by Sergio Esquivel, owner of Little Garden Imports in Littlerock.
The images include the green-and-white California 138 state route sign, a bear, bobcat and the Littlerock cell phone tower that looks like a water tower.
Mendoza and Esquivel wanted to start a new art movement in the rural community.
“Where we place different painted horses all along the strip of town, each one painted in different styles, we hope to bring out a different approach to decorating the town in concert with the traditional mural, which I will continue to do as usual anyway,” Mendoza said.
He hopes to inspire other artists to join in with Littlerock’s artistic renaissance.
“With our art, we are trying to inspire people that come through our small town to see it as a piece of highway that inspires and influences people through art murals and sculptures,” Mendoza said. “This horse is the beginning of a whole new line of pieces that are coming to this side of the Antelope Valley including metal, wood, plastic and other materials that will be used to create bigger and inspiring pieces each time.”
About 100 people turned out on Saturday afternoon for the unveiling of the statue.
Esquivel and Mendoza were inspired to donate the horse sculpture to the community and add it to the welcome sign when they were shooting the breeze one day, just staring at the sculpture.
“It was just the right stance for the sign, the right height, the right pose and we right away added modification to the detailing of the face for more impact,” Esquivel said. “We had so much fun doing it. I was so moved and surprised to see the community come out for us on Saturday.”
He and Mendoza are motivated to do more art for the community.
“This is our start,” Esquivel said. “As we can put more art out in the community, we feel it will be great for Littlerock. We want our community’s children to see and experience more art. What we create here means they would not have to go on a field trip to see art or spend money to experience art. They can enjoy art right here at home.”