Branigan Cultural Center presents talk on history of Chopes Restaurant

Norma Hartell will present a lecture entitled “Chopes: The Making of a Historic Place” on Thursday, December 8, at 1 p.m. at the Branigan Cultural Center.

Raised in Las Cruces, Norma Hartell graduated from NMSU with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2010 and recently graduated with an MA in Anthropology where she focused on highlighting the visual arts and artists of Southern New Mexico. In 2014, she began working on the Chope’s Town Café and Bar historic preservation nomination in a Cultural Resource Management course taught by Dr. Beth O’Leary. On May 26, 2015, the property was successfully listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Aside from working on the nomination for Chopes, Hartell is founding member of the community based project Murals of Las Cruces and co-owner of Chico Farm where Norma and her husband run a self-sustained two-acre farm.

This lecture is part of the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History programming series. Latino Americans: 500 Years of History has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

History Notes lecture series takes place on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. Lectures are free and open to the public. The 2016 History Notes lecture series featured topics related to Hispanic American Histories and Cultures of the Southwest.

Culture Club workshops at Branigan
The Branigan Cultural Center will be hosting a series of art workshops for all ages on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon in December for a new family program: Culture Club. These free workshops will include creating and learning about Ojos de Dios, snowflakes, mini-beaded Christmas trees, and jewelry creations. There will be no workshop on Saturday, December 24, as the museum is closed for the holiday.

Branigan exhibits
Three exhibits are on display through January 21 at the Branigan Cultural Center.

An Enduring Tradition: 20th Century Navajo Weaving will explore the traditional roots of contemporary Navajo weaving and discuss materials used and the influences on styles and designs. The featured textiles, on loan from the University Museum of NMSU, demonstrate both the individuality and adherence to tradition of Navajo weavers.

Howard Clinton Tibbitts: Historic Advertising Photography of the Southwest consists of prints taken by Tibbitts in the early 1900s. Included in this collection are photos of New Mexico’s pueblos, scenes of the Santa Fe Railroad, Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest, and other little-known and rarely-seen locales. The exhibit will be split between the Branigan Cultural Center and the Las Cruces Railroad Museum.

In Service to Country: Military Equipment 1860 to Present features various military uniforms, equipment, photographs, and personal items dating from the Civil War era to present day. The collection is on loan from local veteran Kevin Dasing. A selection of local veteran’s stories will also be included in the exhibit.

Admission is free to the Branigan Cultural Center, located at 501 North Main Street. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, visit the website at museums. or call 541-2154.

Other Branigan Cultural Center events
• Saturday, December 10, 10 to 11 a.m.: Gallery Talk — Acquisition of In Service to Country: Military Equipment 1860 – Present by Kevin Dasing
• Saturday, December 10, 10:30 to 11 a.m.: Vamos a Explorar
• Friday, December 16, 1 to 2:30 p.m. A Maya Celebration, a short film by Janet Darrow followed by a discussion about Fair Trade and the Weaving for Justice organization by Janet Darrow and Christine Eber.
• Saturday, December 17, 10:30 to 11 a.m. Vamos a Explorar
• Saturday, December 31, 10:30 to 11 a.m. Vamos a Explorar

Installation art at Museum of Art
Transforming Space – Transforming Fiber at the Las Cruces Museum of Art, curated by Susan A. Christie, features nine nationally-recognized fiber artists who explore the ways that fiber-based artworks can transform the experience of being in, and moving through, physical space. Included in the exhibition are installations and sculptural works by Michelle Cooke (Taos), John Garrett (Las Cruces), Tim Harding (Minneapolis), Katharine Kreisher (Oneonta, New York), and Santa Fe artists Signe Stuart, Mayumi Nishida, Gail Rieke, s.c. Thayer, and David Wagner. The show continues through January 21, 2017.

Mitten Tree reading at Museum of Art
The Las Cruces Museum of Art, 491 N. Main St., will celebrate Mitten Tree Day at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 6. Children are invited for a reading of The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen and a related art activity.

In collaboration with the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, the Las Cruces Museum System will sponsor a Mitten Tree this holiday season.

Based on the book, the project encourages visitors to donate mittens, hats, and scarves to those in need. All items will be donated to local community organizations such as the Community of Hope, La Casa, Gospel Rescue Mission, and the Casa de Peregrinos Food Pantry. Donations will be accepted through Tuesday, December 20. Donors will be given a paper mitten on which they can decorate and write their name before placing it on the tree.

Admission to the Museum of Art is free. The museums are located on the downtown mall and are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you need an accommodation for a disability to enable you to fully participate in any museum event, contact the museum 48 hours prior to the event.

For information about other City of Las Cruces museum exhibits and events, visit the website at The city operates the Museum of Art, Branigan Cultural Center, Museum of Nature and Science, and Railroad Museum. City museums will be closed December 23 and 24 for the holidays and are closed every Sunday and Monday.