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


Running on Empty
Peak oil globally inspires sustainability efforts locally.

Silver and Bells
Does the name
"Salvation Army"
ring a bell?

Church Potluck
Inside the 1st Church of What's Happening.

Flexing the Faith Muscle
Battling Juárez' poverty and disease—
and a land grab.

Making Water
Run Uphill

Gene Simon has
done it all.

Living and Dreaming in the American West
Blame our stories for the confusion that is the modern West.

Getaways: Dude, That's My Horse
Visit a dude ranch in winter? Absolutely.


Columns & Departments
Editor's Note
Desert Diary
Road Trip
Seeing Stars
Tumbleweeds in Brief
Top 10
Celestial Cycles
The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
People's Law
40 Days & 40 Nights
Clubs Guide
Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Continental Divide

Special Section
Arts Exposure:
Arts News
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Stinging Nettles
Paying Attention to ADD

Red or Green?
Restaurant Guide

Dining Guide


About the front cover

Our Advertisers

Desert Exposure

What is Desert Exposure?

Who We Are

Desert Exposure
Can Do For Your Business

Advertising Rates

Contact Us

Holiday Art-Shopping Opportunity Dec. 9-10

Silver Spirit Gallery and San Vicente Artists of Silver City are coordinating the second annual Christmas at the Galleries and Shops of Silver City weekend. Participating galleries, studios and shops will be open late on Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, with some also open on Sunday, Dec. 11. "For the benefit of shoppers, there will be holiday treats and entertainment at selected locations," says Luanne Brooten, co-owner of Silver Spirit Gallery. "Luminarios will light the way to participating shops and galleries that will be open later as a way to thank their customers."

This event will be the second time that Silver Spirit Gallery and San Vicente Artists have joined together to coordinate an event for the benefit of the downtown historic district and the citizens of Silver City. "We want to make this weekend before the holidays really special for everyone in Silver City," says Doug Crouch, president of San Vicente Artists.

Participants include: A la mode, Anderson Fine Arts (Aldea), Art & Conversation, Bullard Street Bazaar, Cienega Spa, Creations & Adornments Gallery, The Curious Kumquat, Fantastic Finds, Hester House, Home Furniture, Ikosaeder Gallery, Leyba & Ingalls Arts, Manzanita Ridge, Outwest Gallery, Pretty Sweet Emporium, Repeat Boutique and Silco Gallery, Silver Spirit Gallery, Star Mountain Traders, Western Stationers, Western and Mexican Emporium, Toy Town, Quaint Essentials and the Yankie & Texas Art District.


McGregor Brings Sky and Desert to Fine Art Museum

"The sky has become my ocean and the desert my muse," explains painter Diane McGregor about her exhibit, "From Water Into Light," at the Director's Gallery of the Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art, Dec. 2-31. The public is invited to a free reception for the artist on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Originally from Hawaii, McGregor moved to New Mexico four years ago and was "profoundly affected by the intense desert light and the atmospheric effects of the sky." In New Mexico, she says, she is "fascinated by the fugitive forms left by water as remnants in the desert landscape." Her work is inspired by the seasonal shifts, the flow of time and the delicate rhythms of nature. The imagery in her paintings alludes to "distant veils of rain and mists, cloud shadows moving across the mesas, traces of flow in dry riverbeds and the patina of canyon walls." Veil-like wave forms and translucent geometric planes are integrated, suggesting "a bridge between the heart and the mind," she says.

McGregor earned degrees in art from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Most recently her paintings were displayed at Tadu Contemporary Art in Santa Fe and at the Lucas Gallery in Telluride, Colo. She currently resides in Santa Fe.

The Museum's Main Gallery continues the international juried digital art exhibit, "Silicon Sands," through Jan. 21, 2006. The Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art is located at 490 N. Water St. For more information about exhibits, programs and studio art classes, call 541-2137. All exhibits are open, accessible and free of charge Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.


Potter's Guild Hosts Annual Holiday Sale

The Potter's Guild of Las Cruces is holding its annual Holiday Sale Dec. 9-10 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano Drive. Hours are 3:30-8 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Items for sale include wheel-thrown and handbuilt pottery, raku boxes and decorative art, tile, ceramic jewelry, candleholders and ornaments. All items are handmade.

The show is an opportunity to purchase beautiful and functional gifts and meet the potters who made them. "This year's event will be especially exciting," says Valice Raffi, one of the coordinators. "We have such a huge variety of ceramic items at affordable prices, it would be impossible to find a better place for that unique gift for someone you love."

The Potter's Guild of Las Cruces is a fellowship of about 60 ceramic artists from Las Cruces, El Paso, Alamogordo and surrounding communities. The guild's mission is fostering education in the arts, sponsoring exhibitions and sales and providing community service through the annual Empty Bowls event to benefit El Caldito soup kitchen.

Participating members include Lesley and Richard Mausolf, Laura Dean, Corry McKissack, Valice Raffi, Judy Thimesch, Cindy Waddell, Cally Williams and Jackie Zappa.


Billman's "Dark Matter" at Corbett Center Gallery

Drawings and paintings with a thematic focus on astronomical objects and events are featured in the exhibit, "Dark Matter," in the Corbett Center Art Gallery through Dec. 12. Billman explains that the exhibit explores our relationship with the cosmos through abstract interpretations of nebulae, galaxies and cataclysmic incidents. His works in ink and watercolor on paper have linear elements within color fields and washes that reference visual observations of the landscape of space and the forces that shape our universe.

Billman, education curator at the Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art, is also an adjunct faculty member at El Paso Community College. He directs the Museum of Fine Art Studio program and is primary administrator for "Rising Skies—Understanding Astronomy through the Arts." His work has been exhibited in New Mexico, Texas, California and Ohio. He holds an MFA in drawing and painting from California State University, Los Angeles.

The Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the Corbett Center, the NMSU student union, and is open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


Cottonwood Gallery Branches Out in December

The Cottonwood Gallery at the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces will be an art hot-spot this holiday season. The gallery hosts a special Cultural Christmas Show on Friday, Dec. 2, 12-7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The exhibit features the artcrafts of the Huichole, Oaxacan/Zapotec and Tarahumara (Rarámuri). Beaded jewelry, alebrijes (carved painted folk animals), basketry and reproductions of the vintage photographs will be offered for sale. All proceeds will benefit indigenous community members associated with the Fundación Rarámuri in Juárez, Chihuahua.

"Landscapes: The Face of Biodiversity," a collection of watercolors by Las Cruces artist Penny Duncklee, opens in the gallery on Friday, Dec. 2. The public is invited to meet the artist at an evening reception from 5-7 p.m. The opening reception for coincides with Las Cruces' Main Street Downtown Ramble.

Duncklee's travels, including backpacking and camping forays, inform her work. Duncklee has received praise for her ability to capture in watercolor both the vivid and subtle range of color and light to depict the niches and vistas throughout our Southwest borderland and beyond. Viewers are drawn into her work to contemplate the variety of natural areas necessary to promote a healthy and biodiverse native plant and animal population. The exhibit continues through Jan. 27.

Also on view at the gallery, through Dec. 11, is a traveling exhibit of the best of the West's wide-open spaces as captured by the lenses of the winners of the 2005 National Landscape Conservation System National Photography Contest. Discover more about the history, culture and ecology of these public lands, more than 26 million acres in 12 western states managed by the Bureau of Land Management and encompassed within the National Landscape Conservation System. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Rarámuri Fundación.

The Cottonwood Gallery is located at 275 N. Downtown Mall, 522-5552, swec@wildmesquite.org. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


What's New at the Galleries

Unravel Yarn Shop & Gallery in Las Cruces will be spotlighting beaded sculpture by Jan July throughout the month of December. The public is invited to an artist's reception on Friday, Dec. 2, from 5-8 p.m. Unravel is located at 300 N. Downtown Mall, 647-1181.

New on the Silver City art scene is The StudioSpace and Gallery, 109 N. Bullard St., the home of Jess Gorell Fine Art Photography and Portraiture as well as a revolving gallery and the current location of The Bakshi School of Animation. Photography by Jess Gorell is on display as well as artwork by filmmaker Ralph Bakshi and several local guest artists. According to Gorell, "The StudioSpace operates in tradition of the European salon, hosting art exhibits, creative classes, lectures and demonstrations." Classes in animation, fine art and acting are held weekly with special events and performances scheduled throughout the year. For more information, call (323) 422-1150 or 535-4548, email gallery@jessgorell.com, or visit www.jessgorell.com.

Work in colored pencils and ink by Silver City artist Frank Milan will be spotlighted this month in the lobby of Western Bank, 333 Hwy. 180 W. The show, featuring original work and Silver City Farmer's Market prints, opens with a reception on Friday, Dec. 9, from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call 388-3521

The Nash Gallery in Mesilla will feature "From Flowers to Fantasy," works by artist Fleur Laird Long, through the end of December. Long is a visual arts graduate of the College of Santa Fe and has earned additional degrees in the visual and fine arts at UCLA. and the University of California-Berkeley. She has also taught art throughout the US, including at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Her featured works range from floral watercolors to mixed-media abstracts. Nash Gallery is located at 1701 Calle de Mercado, 523.2311.

Mesilla Valley Fine Arts welcomes two new artists, Roxana Quinnell and Ann Peck. Quinnell, born and raised in the mountains of Montana, paints the wild and domestic animals she loves. Peck's love of the Southwest is reflected in her brightly colored paintings in watercolors and pastels, which emphasize our region's three cultures. This month the gallery also features Mayanna Howard and Sally Marsh. Howard, a watercolorist, uses a palette of Southwestern hues to depict local adobes, churches and various scenes of the Southwest. Marsh, also a watercolorist, paints florals and landscapes. The gallery is at 2470-A Calle de Guadalupe in Mesilla, 522-2933.


For the Love of Art Month Seeks Artists

If this is the end of 2005, can February 2006—For the Love of Art Month in Las Cruces—be far behind? ArtForms artists of all kinds are called to participate in arts exhibits and performances all over the metro area: visual artists of all types (painters, sculptors, portrait artists, ceramicists, fiber artists, graphic and computer artists, photographers, jewelry makers, floral designers, etc.), singers, musicians, thespians, comedians, performing artists of all kinds, writers, lyricists, poets. All artists are invited to exhibit and perform their arts for the public.

Visual artists are invited to enter their works (2-D and 3-D) in a group membership show to be held at the Branigan Cultural Center during February. There will be a studio/gallery tour the second weekend of February. Plus, if you have work on display at a place of business or have scheduled an exhibit at a gallery or other public space during February, let organizers know to include in publicity.

You must be an ArtForms member to participate. The deadline to get exhibits and performances included in publicity is Dec. 15. Call 541-4353 or email teacupgarden@zianet.com.


Art Museum Invites Submissions

The Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art is seeking submissions for two upcoming shows. "Life and Liberty after 9/11," a national juried exhibit, Sept. 1-Nov. 18, 2006, is inviting works in all media reflecting life in America post-9/11. "The Spirit of Las Cruces Biennial Exhibition," a juried exhibit, June 2-July 22, 2006, invites in all media by residents of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County.

Artists living and working in New Mexico and the El Paso area are also eligible to submit work for consideration for a 2007 solo or collaborative exhibit in the museum's Director's Gallery. Deadline for submission of a proposal package is May 12, 2006. There is a $30 submission fee.

For more information on all submissions, contact Joy Miller, curator, Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art, 541-2221, or jmiller@las-cruces.org.


Return to top of page

Desert Exposure