D  e  s  e  r  t     E  x  p  o  s  u  r  e     April 2006


Heaven on Wheels
SW New Mexico
has become a bikers' paradise

Tour of the Gila
Turns 20

for Kids

Food in the Raw
Living Foods Learning Center offers an alternative to a "toxic" world.

The Writing on the Wall
For graffiti artists, the world is their canvas.

The Bus Stops Here
By bus from the Phoenix suburbs to Lordsburg.

A Decade of Desert Exposure
Favorite moments from our first 10 years

Columns & Departments
Editor's Note
Readers Survey
Desert Diary

Apollos of Dogdom
He Wrote the Book
What's Wrong with the Dems?
Tumbleweeds in Brief
Top 10

Celestial Cycles

The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
People's Law
40 Days & 40 Nights
Border Book Festival
Archeology Society
Clubs Guide
Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Continental Divide

Special Section
Arts Exposure

Arts News
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Beyond the Easter Bunny
Language of Change
Follow Your Heart
to Happiness

Red or Green?
Dining Guide


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Art Shorts

T or C Gallery Opens All-Silver City Show

Rio Bravo Fine Art Director Eduardo Alicea has curated a special selection of artworks from some 14 prominent Silver City artists for a showing in Truth or Consequences. The exhibit runs April 8-May 28 at the gallery, 110 Broadway Ave. An opening reception for the artists will be held Saturday, April 8, from 6-9 p.m.

A number of prominent Silver City artists are featured in the show, with artworks in a variety of media, including paintings in oil and acrylic, photography, drawings, sculptures, mixed media, jewelry and assemblage.

Alicea's vision with this show is to increase the exposure of artwork and artists from Southwestern New Mexico. "I'd like to host this show on an annual basis to continue to bring visibility and attention to the talented and prolific artists from different communities in Southwest New Mexico," Alicea says, adding that he chose to exclusively feature Silver City artists because of the strong arts community that has taken root and flourished there in recent years. Hosting the event at Alicea's Truth or Consequences gallery "was a natural fit," he says, due to the synergistic art ties that exist between Silver City and Truth or Consequences.

The show will include the works of well-known Silver City artists including Lois Duffy, Diana Ingalls-Leyba, Tad van der Weele, Harry Benjamin, Michael P. Berman, Phillip Parotti, Valerie Milner, Fred Barraza, Elvira Godfrey, James Hemphill, Robin Orahood, Casey Luria, Paul Wilson, Ralph Bakshi, Coit and Jess Gorell.

The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays 12-5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays are by appointment. For more information, call 894-0572.

And speaking of traveling art and artists, local painter Victoria Chick is currently exhibiting work in a curated show at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas, through April 22.

Chick's edgy and sometimes humorous figurative paintings use animal images anthropomorphically to express the relationship of inner thoughts to outward actions. A catalogue of the show was published in March.

In addition to serving as a repository for the painting and graphic work of Swedish-American painter Birger Sandzen, the museum's permanent collection includes work by B.J.O. Nordfelt, Marsden Hartley, William Baziotes, Henry Varnum Poor, Doel Reed and Carl Milles,

Chick's paintings and monotypes can be seen locally in Silver City at the Last Day In Paradise bookstore and gallery located in the Yankie / Texas Street gallery district.

For more information on the Kansas exhibit, call (785) 227-2220 or e-mail fineart@sandzen.org


At the Branigan: Guatemala Photos, Black Range Artists

"Signs of Hope," photographic works of Sterling Trantham, will be exhibited at the Branigan Cultural Center in Las Cruces, April 7-29, with an opening reception for the artist on Friday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

For the past decade Trantham has photographed indigenous religious ceremonies in the western highlands of Guatemala. "Signs of Hope" is a showcase of these black-and-white photographs.

Trantham, assistant professor of journalism at New Mexico State University, is a winner of the Willard Van Dyke Grant in Documentary Photography and the Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award from the Santa Fe Center for the Visual Arts. He describes the evolution of this Guatemalan photographic project as a "personal spiritual journey portrayed in images."

A group show of The Black Range Artists will run concurrently with the Trantham exhibit. Celebrating a decade of exhibits at the Branigan Cultural Center, the Black Range Artists will open this year's mixed-media show on Friday, April 7, with a reception for the artists from 5-7 p.m. Group members will exhibit their works in the BCC Shannon Room.

The Black Range Artists, Inc., was founded in 1962 by Margaret Vetter, Bernard Vetter, Inez Barratt and other artists from the Black Range area of New Mexico to share and promote work by artists of southwestern New Mexico and El Paso, through exhibits, workshops and art programs and classes. Artists interested in joining the Black Range Artists should call 541-9601.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 500 N. Water St. on the Downtown Mall. All exhibits are accessible and open to the public free of charge. For more information about exhibits and programs, visit museums.las-cruces.org online or call 541-2155.

Artistic Happenings

Sculptor Michael Metcalf will speak April 20 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Mimbres Region Arts Council's Artist Lecture Series at the Besse Forward Auditorium at Western New Mexico University's Global Resource Center. The lecture series is in partnership with WNMU's Expressive Arts Department.

Metcalf is a full professor of visual arts, art discipline director for sculpture/foundations and chair of the Expressive Arts Department at WNMU. His bronze work ranges from minimal, aboriginal pieces to dynamic, finely finished, cast bronze sculptures. His most recent works in stone, metal and wood incorporate his patented "splining" process that "joins" pieces of broken stone with steel cables.

Check the arts council's Web site at www.mimbresarts.org, or call 538-2505 for more information.

Figurative sculptor Lesli Zerr will present an interactive program at the Las Cruces Artists Association meeting, Sunday, April 9, in the Dresp Room of the Branigan Public Library. The program follows the 1:30 p.m. business meeting and is open to the public. Zerr, with a love for yoga and dance, delights in creating individual pieces that reflect movement through space. Her work graces homes and museums throughout the Southwest and her artistic inspiration, wit and personal graciousness are reflected in student art throughout Las Cruces. For more information, check her Web site at www.hatcharts.com or call

Combining art forms, Margaret Bernstein's art opening reception at the Black Box Theatre in Las Cruces on April 14, 5-7 p.m., will showcase her artwork in "The Mask of Perception," and include a preview of Tom Smith's play, Aunt Raini, which opens April 21

Bernstein has shown her art in the halls of the Black Box Theatre for the past five years. In Aunt Raini, playwright Smith asks viewers to consider the line between art and propaganda, and as well, who should take responsibility for art's power. In "The Mask of Perception," Bernstein asks viewers to consider that an artist's perceptions of the world ebb and flow with time and place, and at the same time, suggests that artistic perceptions can mask self-doubt and self-questioning.

The Black Box Theatre is at 430 N. Downtown Mall. Contact the resident No Strings Theater Company at 523-1223.

Teachers, Then Students at the Art Museum

If you've considered taking an art class, visit the Las Cruces Museum of Art and get a taste of their instructors' array of talent. "From the Studios," works by instructors of the museum's Art Studio classes, continues on view at the Director's Gallery through April 8.

Exhibiting instructors/artists include Liza Eyster, painting; Maria Navarra-Pino, weaving; Kelley S. Hestir, sculpture; Corrie McKissack, ceramics; Gerie Muchnikoff, mixed media; Paul Schranz, digital photography; Glen Schwaiger, ceramics; Dorothy Zitzler, ceramics; and Deborah Moore, ceramics/sculpture. Works by ceramics assistant Louisa Neill and weaving student Margarete Kiihne are also part of the show.

The Las Cruces Museum of Art Studio Classes offers experiential learning opportunities for all ages and skill levels. Visitors to the museum can ask for more information about studio classes from any staff member or request a studio classroom tour. To register for spring session classes, call 541-2137 or register at the museum. More information is available at www.las-cruces.org. Scroll down and click the museum logo on the left.

"The Art of Space" is showing in the museum's Main Gallery through April 8.

Artworks by Las Cruces area high school seniors will fill all of the Museum's galleries from April 21-29, with an opening reception and awards presentation on April 21 from 5-7 p.m. The high school seniors' work covers the gamut of artistic media, including ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, drawing and painting, photography and mixed media. The event will be catered by senior students in high school culinary arts programs, who will also receive awards for their presentations.

The Museum of Art is located in the Downtown Mall at 490 N. Water St. All exhibits are accessible and open to the public free of charge. For more information about exhibits or museum programs and studio classes, call
541-2137 or visit online at www.museums.las-cruces.org.

Openings Abound

The StudioSpace and Gallery, 109 N. Bullard St. in Silver City, will display the paintings of Toni Garland for the month of April, with an artist's reception on Friday, April 7, from 5:30-8 p.m.

Toni Garland grew up in Mount Vernon, NY, and graduated from Boston University before moving to Barrow, Alaska, to teach in the largest Eskimo village established at that time. In the fall of 2002, she and her husband headed West "to reflect upon our lives and experiences teaching and learning, raising a three children while concurrently developing a school."

The show, "Color and Joy," reflects the artist's love of the New Mexican landscape. For more information, call 535-4548 or (323) 422-1150.

"The Flower Garden Springs to Life," at the Tombaugh Gallery, April 3-28, is a mixed-media show by Sally Quillin, with an artist's reception on Friday, April 7, 5-7 p.m. Six silk flower arrangements by Regina Nelson will heighten the garden atmosphere of the show.

The Tombaugh Gallery is located in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano in Las Cruces. Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, log onto www.uuchurchlc.us or call 522-7281.

Photographic works of Alicia Edwards will be on display from April through May at the Mimbres Region Arts Council Gallery in the Wells Fargo Bank building in Silver City, with an opening reception for the artist April 14, 5-6:30 p.m.

"What I love about photography is that film never lies," Edwards says. "The brain is a magnificent filter, working all the time to sift out all the stuff you don't want to see, but when you look at your film there it all is. Photography provides an opportunity to see the world in a more conscious way. It is also an invitation for critical self-examination because one can go back to an image time and time again and ask, 'Why did I take that picture, who was I in that moment, what about that moment compelled me to capture it forever?'"

For more information, check the arts council's Web site at www.mimbresarts.org or call 538-2505.

"Some Pretty Good Art" opens at the Patio Art Gallery, University and El Paseo Ave. in Las Cruces, Saturday, April 8, with a reception from 1-4 p.m. Gallery artists Carolyn Bunch, Julie Ford Oliver, Anne R. Ford, Annetta J. Hoover, Joyce T. Macrorie and Winfrey Hearst, will be joined by Fred Chilton, Tony Pennock and Janice Cook, all with new works. For information, call 541-7401.

April is Dutch Treat Month at the Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery with both featured artists hailing from Amsterdam, and an opening reception featuring "Dutch treats" on April 8, 2-4 p.m. Hetty Smith is a leaded stained glass artist, and Corry McKissack is a potter. The gallery is located at 2470 Calle de Guadalupe in Mesilla, 522-2933.

Taos Indian artist Dennis Lujan will be exhibiting "Machinas and White on Black" at Hecho Art & Decor, 1910 Calle de Parian in Old Mesilla. Meet the artist April 9, 6-9 p.m. Lujan's new "Machinas" sculptures are made from concrete, wood, beading, shells, circuit boards and found objects from along train tracks and the streets of the area. "White on Black" are white color-pencil portraits of important people in the artist's life. Hecho is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. For more information, call 526-2401.

"Steel Flowers and a Nautilus Labyrinth Hut" will feature new metal sculptures and an experiential mystery structure created by local artist Susan Frary. This showing of original artwork will open April 21, 4-7:30 p.m. The show will run through May 24 at Enchanted Gardens in Las Cruces.

Frary's original metal art has a contemporary and sometimes folk style. She has been featured in several local galleries for the past five years. A limited variety of hand-forged steel flowers are being created for this show. The "Nautilus Labyrinth Hut" will be set out in the grounds behind the 1940s home that is the new location of Enchanted Gardens, 270 Avenida de Mesilla. For more information call 524-1886.


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