D  e  s  e  r  t     E  x  p  o  s  u  r  e     April 2005

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Art for Our Sake

Artwork and more featured at Volunteer Center auction and reception April 16.

Artist Harry Benjamin with the painting, "Black Range,"
he's donating to the Volunteer Center silent auction.

Renowned Silver City artist Harry Benjamin is also a volunteer, and this month he'll be combining those two passions for the benefit of Silver City's Volunteer Center. Benjamin is donating a painting, Black Range, for an April 16 silent auction and reception for the Volunteer Center.

The center will be marking its first full year of coordinating volunteer efforts around the region (see the February issue of Desert Exposure). The event also kicks off National Volunteer Week, April 17-23. Volunteer Center Honorary Chair US Senator Jeff Bingaman will attend the auction and reception.

The event, entitled "Come As You Are," will feature many auction items, free wine and refreshments, music by Wally Lawder, and a photo gallery of Silver City area volunteers (some of whom you'll recognize from the pages of Desert Exposure). It will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the Twisted Vine, 108 Broadway in Silver City. Advance tickets, $12, are available through the Mimbres Region Arts Council office in the Wells Fargo Building, at the Twisted Vine and at the Volunteer Center, 915 Santa Rita St. For more information contact the Volunteer Center, 388-2988.


New Luna Gallery Shines on Yankie

Keeping up with the area's artistic musical chairs.

The ever-changing but always lively art scene in Southwest New Mexico has seen another set of comings and goings. New in the picture is Luna Gallery and Studio at 108 W. Yankie in Silver City. Owners Mark and Ginny Neumann, who've been in the art business since 1988, opened the doors last month in the former Lois Duffy studio space. (Duffy will be re-opening in a much larger space on Texas at Yankie next month.)

"We want to be different from anyone else in town," says the Luna's Mark Neumann. "We want not only tourists to come in, but locals, too, so we plan to keep prices low."

"We are jewelry designers," adds Ginny Neumann. "We show functional art that is beautiful." Her jewelry, she says, is inspired by the New Mexico wilderness and the diversity of cultures that is a part of her everyday life.

Eklektikas gallery owners Jim Madsen and North Johnson, who helped pioneer the Silver City art explosion, have decided to retire. Their Eklektikas II gallery on Yankie Street will remain open under new ownership.

Meanwhile, in Mesilla, Laughing at the Sun Gallery has opened at 1910 Calle de Parian, a block from the plaza. As well as art, owners Cassandra Lockwood, Irine Roane and Corey Asbill plan to showcase local music.

Now See This: What's on View

"Wrapped in Color," a show of photography/digital media by Andrew Gugan, will run in the Director's Gallery of the Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art throughout the month of April. An opening reception for the artist, who teaches at both Dona Ana Branch Community College and El Paso Community College, will be held on Saturday, April 2, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

A native of Canada, Gugan came to Las Cruces in 2000 to complete his MFA at New Mexico State University. While his studio major had a printmaking emphasis (screen-printing, intaglio and lithography), additional coursework in photography and digital art led him in the direction of his current work. He has exhibited both in the US and in Canada and was featured at the NMSU Corbett Center Art Gallery last fall.

Gugan gives the visitor to the Director's Gallery a new vision of architecture and explains his interest in the shapes of structures and the dynamic movement of the viewer's eye as it follows form and line, while pointing to subtle and lyrical relationships hidden within everyday architecture. His overall body of work juxtaposes "light steel" structures with heavy stone. Attention is brought to specific attributes of buildings, either intact or in ruin, by highlighting in color, through digital or printmaking techniques. A lighthearted theme through referencing childhood coloring books suggests a notion of the suburban neighborhood as "an idealized world of domesticity, whereas the city is excitement, if not ominous and foreboding."

The Main Gallery of the Museum will feature sculpture/multimedia works by Munson Hunt through April 9. The artwork of seniors from the City of Las Cruces high schools will be on display in the Main Gallery from April 21-30, with a reception for the artists on Thursday, April 21, 5-7 p.m. The Museum of Fine Art is located at 490 N. Water St. (541-2137).

The Tombaugh Gallery of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Las Cruces will host an art show featuring metal sculptures by Susan Frary. Frary's contemporary art is in a whimsical, joyous style. She combines found items with old-style repousse and forging techniques to produce one-of-a-kind impressionist pieces.

Frary earned a degree in electronic engineering from NMSU in 1982 and worked for 10 years in that field, before retiring and then concentrating on her art. In lieu of a formal art education, she has studied with renowned metal worker LeRoy Simmons, formerly of the Dragon Ash Forge in Mountainaire, NM. She recently participated in a show at the Hal Marcus Gallery in El Paso, and in July will participate in a national invitational show titled Women Do Iron, at the A. Teasyatwho Gallery in Aztec, NM. A good deal of her work is done on commission, primarily for outside/patio display.

A reception and opening for the show will be held April 2 from 3-5:00 p.m. The show will run through April 28. The Tombaugh Gallery is located at 2000 S. Solano (522-7281). Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Our February cover artist, photographer JD West, has a new show at Main Java Cafe. Ten percent of the proceeds of art sales go to support the Fresh Eyes Photography Project, which teaches photography skills to incarcerated juveniles in New Mexico, giving them new ways of looking at the world. The cafe is at 939 N. Main Street in Las Cruces (526-9911) and is open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.

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