City museums celebrate For the Love of Art Month

The New Mexico Watercolor Society, Southern Chapter invites you to share their interpretations of how railroad architecture has influenced New Mexico. Seventeen artists have created watercolor paintings depicting their visions, which will be on display at the Las Cruces Railroad Museum during For the Love of Art Month in February.

Railroads have played a very important part in our local history, changing the landscape and influencing the population and industry. A wide variety of building styles has emerged, prompted by the arrival of the railroad, bringing new residents with ideas from other areas.

An opening reception will be held during the First Friday Ramble, from 5 – 7 p.m. on February 3, at the Railroad Museum, 351 N. Mesilla St. The show will hang from through Saturday, April 1.

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit the website at or call 647-4480.

New exhibits open February 3
Three additional new exhibits will be opening at the Las Cruces Museums on Friday, February 3. Issei and Beyond: The Nakayama Family’s Journey in the Mesilla Valley and Hillsboro Faces: A Collection of Portraits open in the Branigan Cultural Center and ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection opens in the Las Cruces Museum of Art. An opening reception will be held in both museums from 5 to 7 p.m.

John Kaichiro and Tome Nakayama were issei — immigrants to the United States in the early 20th century — who settled in Las Cruces in 1918. Issei and Beyond uses personal objects and images to share the story of how the Nakayama family rose above the challenges of immigration and racial discrimination to become leading farmers and chile specialists in Las Cruces. The artifacts displayed are from the family collection stewarded by Peggy Nakayama Swoveland, who is delighted to present her family’s story to the community for the first time as a full museum exhibition. Issei and Beyond will be on exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center through May 13.

Photographer Matilde Holzwarth captures the character of Hillsboro, New Mexico, through portraits of the members of its community. Hillsboro Faces features more than 20 portraits of the people of the former mining town. The exhibition runs through March 25.

Featuring over 40 works by 28 artists, ReTooled celebrates the prevalence of tools with art that transforms utilitarian objects into fanciful works that speak of humor and beauty. Over the course of 30 years, hardware chain owner John Hechinger amassed a collection of over 300 works of 20th century art. Hechinger’s quest to assemble a preeminent art collection unifying the theme of tools rested on the notion that everyday instruments could be objects of beauty and reverence. Artists represented in the exhibition include Red Grooms, Jacob Lawrence, Berenice Abbott, Jim Dine, and Las Cruces artist Stephen Hansen, among others.

The Las Cruces Museum of Art hosts informal interdisciplinary-based workshops called Artrageous from 10 a.m. to noon each Saturday. This month’s theme is For the Love of Art and each week will feature a different artistic genre.

February 4: Theatre Arts; February 11: Poetry; February 18: Music. This activity will highlight the Doña Ana Arts Council’s performance of the African Guitar Summit, presented at the Rio Grande Theatre on February 23; February 25: Painting.

Culture Club
The Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., will host a series of free art workshops for all ages Saturdays in February from 10 a.m. to noon as part of the Culture Club family program. These free workshops will include creating and learning about Japanese silk paintings, self-portraits, African masks, and Japanese flying carp.

February 4: Japanese silk painting. Silk paintings originated in India and Eastern Asia and have stood the test of time with Japan enriching the method and adapting a unique style. Visitors are invited to try the practice of laying paint on silk at this program. Due to limited supplies, the activity is on a first-come, first served basis.

February 11: Self-portraits. In conjunction with the exhibit Faces of Hillsboro, Polaroid pictures of visitors will be taken, decorated and painted to represent each visitors’ unique personality. Due to limited supplies, this activity is on a first-come, first served basis.

February 18: African Masks. Culture Club will be collaborating with the African Guitar Summit in celebrating Black History Month. Participants will create Dogon masks, which are used by the people of Mali in a special dance. Also, learn and sing the Walking Through Africa song.

February 25: Japanese Flying Carp (Koinobori.) Koinobori are carp-shaped wind streamers traditionally made in Japan to celebrate Tango no sekku (Children’s Day). JLearn about this whimsical fish while creating your own koinobori.

Admission to the City of Las Cruces Museums is free. The museums are located on North Main Street 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. For additional information, visit the website at: