Museums Go Cosmic
As plans for the Southwest Regional Spaceport
story in this issue) put New Mexicans in a cosmic mood,
the Las Cruces Museum of Art and the Branigan Cultural Center are
obliging will three exhibitions of the "Art
of the Cosmos." The exhibitions will open Friday, Feb. 3, with
a free reception in both museums from 5-7 p.m., kicking off a two-month
astronomical art display. The space-inspired programs "The Art
of Space," "Rocketland" and "AstroVisions" will
run through early April.
Tim Billman, the museum's education curator,
explains that "Art
of the Cosmos" involves the creative process of "giving an
abstract form to an astronomical concept." Imaginative spacecraft
originate from the minds of artists whose visionary designs lead to
the engineering drawings, then finally the rockets that leave the launching
pad, he says. The exhibitions showcase the partnership of art and science
through the esthetics of space, space travel and visionary aspects
of the future.
The "Art of Space" is a juried exhibition of works depicting
the esthetics of astronomy. "AstroVisions" will offer astro-photography
from local astronomical society members, including digital telescopic
photography. Both exhibits are at the Museum of Art Main Gallery from
Feb. 3-April 8.
"Rocketland," in the Richardson Gallery
of the Branigan Cultural Center from Feb. 3-April 1, spotlights rockets,
spaceports and the future in space. The exhibit will include a small
rocket and other space-related artifacts from White Sands Missile
Range, collections from other museums, and X-Prize participants.
The museums will offer various programs related
to the exhibits.
Classic science fiction films will be shown in the
Shannon Room of the Branigan Cultural Center every Saturday at 10
a.m. throughout February and March. A complete list of titles and
dates will be available at the museums.
For kids ages 7-12, the Museum
of Art and the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History will jointly
sponsor a "Paint a Rocket and Fly It" event.
The program is free, but limited to 12 participants; to register, call
The Branigan Cultural Center will hold an after-school
creative writing/creative drama/art classes for elementary and middle-school
students that focus on the "Rocketland" exhibit. To register, call 541-2154
An additional exhibit in the new Education Gallery
of the Museum of Art will feature "Rising Skies 4—Understanding Astronomy
Through the Arts," an art and science education outreach program
for fourth through sixth grades.
Meanwhile, lovers' passions and plights are
the theme of "Hearts & Daggers," showing
Feb. 3-28 in the art museum's Director's Gallery.
The Las Cruces Museum of Art is located at 490 N. Water St. in the downtown
mall. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday,
9 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 541-2137.
Jake Politte Cooks Up a Photo Exhibit
You may know Jake Politte as the artist behind
the food at Spaghetti Western restaurant in Silver City, but he is
also an artist behind the camera lens. His photographs will be featured
Feb. 9 through March 5 at the StudioSpace, 109 N. Bullard St. in
Silver City. The show, "Near
and Far: From Nashville to Oaxaca," opens with a reception on
Saturday, Feb. 11, from 2-4 p.m.
Jake Politte was raised in Northern New Mexico and Key West, Fla. He
spent 26 years in San Francisco working as a photographer, mainly in
the film and fashion industries, while juggling a career as a chef. He
did commissioned magazine and museum photography and specialized in studio
portraiture that included costuming subjects and doing their make-up.
Jake also taught 35mm photography using the medium format Miranda Kiev
camera and traveled extensively before returning to New Mexico in 2001.
The photos featured are a selection taken from
his visits to countries from Argentina to Italy to Mexico. They included "slice
of life" and "glamour" shots,
rare pictures of objects extracted from tombs during archeological
digs in Mexico, and several scenic and still-life compositions.
Cowboy Kids at WNMU Museum
The Western New Mexico University Museum will
present a collection of color photographs by Gene Peach of Santa
Fe, Feb. 10 through March 31. This exhibition, "Making a Hand: Ranch Children of New Mexico," presents
66 action portraits of young cowboys and cowgirls from all across the
state. Peach will be present for an opening reception and short talk
on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 4:30-6 p.m. at the WNMU Museum 2nd Floor
Many people assume, as did Peach, that "the cowboy was a relic
of the past." This exhibition dispels that belief and other myths
and stereotypes associated with ranching and rodeo culture and sheds
light on this enduring and authentic way of life through the lives
Peach has been photographing the cultures and
landscapes of the West for more than 15 years. His Southwestern,
Native American and cowboy stock photos have been published internationally
in 50 countries, and his advertising and editorial photography appears
regularly in numerous US magazines and books. Peach's color photography
a Hand: Growing Up Cowboy in New Mexico, with text by Max
Evans, will be available for purchase from the museum gift shop for
The WNMU Museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. and
on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information call
What's on View
An exhibition of the paintings, sculpture, graphics
and drawings of Fred Barraza, "Barraza—A Sense of Something," continues
at the WNMU McCray Gallery through March 3. A Silver City native, Barraza
works in a multitude of art forms and media, including printmaking,
painting, illustrating and sculpture. He is also an accomplished illustrator,
creating numerous book covers and illustrating a children's book.
Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City will feature "A
Prelude to Grouchiness," non-traditional
quilts by Karen Pritchett and ceramic constructions by Todd Shelby.
The gallery will host an opening reception from 4-7 p.m. on Feb. 11.
The Blue Dome Gallery is at 307 N. Texas, 534- 8671, email@example.com.
Watercolors by Las Cruces artists Hope Newhouse
and Louise Lockhart will be on exhibit at the Tombaugh Gallery in a
show entitled "Light
and Shadows." An artists' reception for the show, which will be
on view through the month of February, will be Sunday, Feb. 5, from
2-4 p.m. The Tombaugh Gallery is located in the Unitarian-Universalist
Church, 2000 S. Solano Drive in Las Cruces. Gallery hours are Monday,
Wednesday, Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information call 522-7281.
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