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  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e  February 2011

 

Art Shorts

 

Silver City & Grant County Arts Scene

 

If it's February, it must be time for Chocolate Fantasia, the annual Mimbres Region Arts Council fundraising event that makes the whole downtown Silver City arts scene hop. (Must be the caffeine and sugar in the chocolate!) This year's event is Feb. 12, 12-4 p.m.

The afternoon will feature delectable, handmade gourmet chocolate confections lovingly displayed in local galleries and shops in the downtown Arts and Cultural District. The gourmet goodies will all be created by area chocolatiers. Just $20 entitles you to 20 chocolates from your choice of approximately 30 participating locations. Candy gift boxes will be available for $2 each, in case you want to create your own Valentine's Day gift rather than gobbling all your goodies en route. Only 300 tickets will be sold, and the event sells out fast every year.

To buy tickets for Chocolate Fantasia, call 538-2505 or visit www.mimbresarts.org On the day of the event, Chocolate Fantasia Headquarters will be located in the Silco Theatre, 311 N. Bullard St.

As art lovers wander the historic downtown in search of chocolate, they can enjoy featured works by Susan Szajer and Karen Lauseng at Lois Duffy Art and new works by new artists at Seedboat Gallery. The Ginny Wolf Studio & Gallery will feature singer-songwriter Kayt Pearl from Sedona and local poet troupe Cactus Mouth performing in the gallery from 1-3 p.m.

Local musicians ranging from the blues to gypsy jazz will add to the festivities at many locations. The Monsoon Puppets will conduct a Running of the Puppets on Bullard Street in downtown that afternoon. Restaurants will offer chocolate-inspired specials and many related activities will take place throughout the weekend. And the fun starts even before: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 5, to bring the Chocolate Fantasia spirit to life, Curious Kumquat gourmet chef Rob Connoley will debut his Chocolate Fantasia Sculpture at the Kumquat, 111 E. College Ave.

To wrap up the festivities on Feb. 12, at 4:30 p.m. a special reception will be held at Isaac's Bar & Grill, 200 N. Bullard St., where the top three award winners (for best site, chocolate and display) will be named.



The artistic action actually gets started the previous weekend, with First Friday downtown on Feb. 4. Copper Quail Gallery will feature "Wild, Wonderful, Wearable Wool" works by Jane Bowen, with a reception Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, 3-6 p.m. both days. 211-A Texas Street, corner of Yankie and Texas, 388-2646. And Silver Spirit Gallery will be spotlighting artists' work that has "that February Flair of love and hearts" on Feb. 4. 215 W. Broadway.

On Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m., the Mimbres Region Arts Council, Western Institute of Lifelong Learning and WNMU's Expressive Arts Department present the first Artist Lecture of 2011 with digital media artist and painter Peter Bill (see last month's Arts Exposure section). Bill's presentation will be followed by a discussion session. It's at WNMU's Parotti Hall. For info, call 538-2505 or visit www.mimbresarts.org

And on Valentine's Day weekend the Blue Dome Gallery, now at Bear Mountain Lodge, will present one-of-a-kind jewelry by Kristin Lora and photographs by Nancy Spencer and Eric Renner. In speaking of their work, Spencer and Renner say, "We have collected many unusual objects for years. We realized there were many faces with eyes looking at us in our house and we should photograph these faces with a zone plate camera, a first cousin to pinhole photography. The faces come from a variety of objects — a cement flower pot that looks like Gandhi, a Louis Armstrong plaster carnival prize, a wooden monkey that was an architectural support from a building in Thailand, a carved wooden face on an African chair, a revolutionary's mask from Nicaragua made from a window screen with painted lips and eyes, and so on."

The works will be on view Feb. 11-14, with an opening reception Friday, Feb. 11, 4-7:30 p.m.



Las Cruces and Mesilla Arts Scene

 

You can read all about the Mesilla Valley's For the Love of Art Month elsewhere in this section. But that's not all that's going on.

Newly on view at The Cutter Gallery is an exhibit of works by Rosemary McLoughlin, "The Bridge to TIR NA NOG," a tribute to the artist's brother, who recently died of cancer. McLoughlin has lived and painted in the Mesilla Valley since the mid-1970s. She is well known for her whimsical paintings with cats, family and friends flying around her work in a dream-like way. University and El Paseo, 541-0658.

"Sight Unseen," a retrospective exhibition showcasing 30 years of work by sculptor Michael Naranjo, opens at the Museum of Art on Friday, Feb. 4, and runs through April 2. A reception for the artist will be held on Feb. 4, from 5-7 p.m., and Naranjo will present a lecture at Branigan Cultural Center on Feb. 5 at 1 p.m.

As the child of noted Santa Clara Pueblo potter Rose Naranjo, Michael Naranjo walked by the windows of many art galleries in Taos. He was inspired to become a sculptor. In 1968, while serving in Vietnam and during a grenade attack, he was blinded and his right hand was badly injured. While hospitalized, he requested a piece of clay from which he formed an inchworm. "That's how it all started," he recalls. "Once I made something with clay, I knew I was going to be okay."

Naranjo sculpts in stone, wax and clay. Many of the sculptures on display are cast in bronze with a dark black patina, the color the artist sees. Works include intimate scenes of everyday life, reflections of the Pueblo culture and a life-size figure of an Eagle Dancer. 491 N. Main St., 541-2137, www.las-cruces.org/museums

The Branigan Cultural Center will present "By George!," the President's Challenge exhibit of the Las Colcheras Quilt Guild, Feb. 4 through Saturday, February 26, 2011. This year's theme involves the use of fabrics created by renowned Las Cruces artist George Mendoza. The show opens with a reception on Feb. 4, 5-7 p.m. The Quilt Guild will hold hand-quilting demonstrations on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. throughout the month of February at the Cultural Center.

Also at the Cultural Center will be "I See Red," an "intimate exhibit" by the Southern Chapter of the New Mexico Watercolor Society, Feb. 4-26. The show features 12 original watercolors, each representing a month in 2011, created in response to a challenge to create an original painting based on something red related to the month that each was assigned. All participating artists will be in attendance at the artists' reception, Feb. 4, 5 - 7 p.m. 501 N. Main St., 541-2154, lascruces.org/museums

Unsettled Gallery & Studio will open an exhibition of new work by artist C.C. Cunningham, which "Traces a Map of One Journey," on Feb. 5, 4-6 p.m., followed by an artist's talk on Feb. 6, 2-4 p.m. 905 N. Mesquite, 635-2285.

The Tombaugh Gallery of the Unitarian Universalist Church hosts "Colored," an exhibit of all new work by Las Cruces artist Georjeanna Feltha, to coincide with Black History Month. The show will run from Feb. 6 to March 4, with an artist's reception and talk on Feb. 6, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Born in Cincinnati, Feltha says, "In the 1950s there was quite a bit of racism in our town, even though it was felt that we were all equal. I named my show 'Colored' because when I was born, in the space on my birth certificate where it asked for race it said 'colored.' During that time it was considered to be a derogatory description and in the following years it went from colored to African American to Black. I never felt that any of these racial definitions really described who I was, so I still go to the early reference of Colored."

Feltha received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1997 and an MFA from NMSU in 2000. She uses handmade papers and natural found objects in large constructions, installations, sculpture and wall-mounted work incorporating African imagery and sensibilities. 2000 S. Solano, 522-7281.

The Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery will feature local artists Carol Lopez and Karin Bradshow this month. 2470-A Calle de Guadalupe, 522-2933.

Nopalito's Galeria will have four shows running from Feb. 11 to March 5. The Las Cruces Art Association will be having its art show, "For the Love of Toys," on Feb. 12. Also on view will be "Expressions, Expressions," a show of photographs, and works by local artists Mary Beagle and Linda Hagen. A reception for Beagle's show, "Native Spirit," will be held Feb. 12, 6-8 p.m. Hagen's artist reception is Feb. 19, 6-8 p.m. 326 S. Mesquite St.

Elkin Studio, a contemporary art jewelry studio in Mesilla, will be offering individual classes in traditional silversmithing beginning in April. No experience is necessary and scheduling is flexible; five sessions cost $225, or register with a friend for $175 each. 635-2025, elkinjewelers@gmail.com



All phone numbers are area code 575 except as noted.
Send art news to events@desertexposure.com







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