ESPANOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – An artist in Espanola is paying tribute to Ernestine Romero, the local Tejano singer murdered by her husband last week. The artist behind the mural says Romero’s death has shaken the community, and he wanted to honor her.
The mural is painted on the side of the Italian Infusion restaurant, at Riverside Drive and Santa Cruz road. Artist Sebastian Vela says a lot of people in Espanola had been following Romero’s career from the very beginning, and when they heard the news of her shooting, they were devastated.
Romero was considered a superstar in the tight-knit community.
“She started her artistic career very young, and so she has a long legacy for singing for her family and the community, and a lot of different community events that she sang at, a lot of us grew up going to those,” Vela says.
Vela started the mural earlier this week. He hopes this tribute will help the community heal from such a devastating loss.
“People who listen to Tejano music or northern New Mexico music really value her voice, and someone with such amazing talent from our region is never unnoticed,” Vela says.
Vela says he finished the portrait work Friday morning at 3 a.m. He says he is going to go back and add her name a few more finishing touches to the mural Friday night.