Farm and Ranch Museum features heavy metal and horses

horseOur local state-operated museum is a great place to take your out-of-town holiday visitors to enjoy indoor and outdoor exhibits, farm animals, and a variety of activities and presentations.

Culture Series: Stories of Holidays Past: December 11, 7 p.m.
The museum’s annual December living history event will offer visitors a retrospective view of New Mexico history during the holiday season. The audience will enjoy several different holiday vignettes in the museum’s theater with characters from various time periods in our state’s history. Admission is $2.

New Exhibit: Heavy Metal: Vintage Farm Equipment by Richard Ondrovic opens Dec. 12
Twenty-eight photographs of the museum’s vintage farm equipment is featured in this show by Richard Ondrovic, a former software engineer from New York who now lives in El Paso. His photographs emphasize the complex shapes that make up the machinery. “I’ve always been told that I don’t see the world the way other people do,” he said. “My world is a collection of lines, curves, lights, and shadows. Old farming and ranching machinery is particularly fascinating because of all the complex shapes that combine to create the machine. The sunlight that gives life to the crops also gives life to the machines in my imagery.” There will be an artist’s reception for the show on January 15 from 6 – 8 p.m. The exhibit will be in the Arts Corridor through April 5.

Cheryl Cathcart: In a World of Horses
As a small child, watching her grandfather’s draft horses work on the farm left a lasting impression on Cheryl Cathcart.

The Corrales artist has combined her love of horses and photography and the result is an amazing collection of images that capture the power and grace of the animals. The exhibit, Cheryl Cathcart: In a World of Horses, is now on display in the North Corridor of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum’s Bruce King Building.

The exhibit features 32 large photographs of horses in New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, France, Italy and Portugal. Cathcart began to focus her photography on horses about six years ago. Why horses?

“The hugest of eyes can be soulfully gentle or wildly inflamed,” she said. “The exquisite body conformation reveals muscled velvet and steel. Their sociable nature is heart-warming both with each other and with us.”

This observant connection to horses happened for Cathcart at a young age.

“My first impressions of horses were created by Dolly and George, my grandfather’s two gigantic bay and gray draft horses,” she recalled. “They are engraved in my memory from age three or four. On a hot summer afternoon in southern Iowa, my father lifted me into a huge farm wagon, and then held me up so I could see over the sides of the wagon. Decades later, the surge of power I felt as he handed me the reins remains a tactile memory in my fingers, as much as it is a visual image decades. To my amazement, the horses walked on, towing the old wagon full of corn when barely urged. Later I would learn that the high intelligence of a horse is no guarantee of a willingness to cooperate or obey.”

The images in the exhibition include sturdy working horses, elegant riding horses in Europe and America, the feral Mustangs of the Rockies, and the rare small sturdy horse breed (called Sorraia) from the Iberian Peninsula. While the images are already on display, an artist’s reception is planned for January 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. A lecture by Cathcart in the museum’s theater will immediately follow the reception. The reception and lecture are free to the public. The exhibit will be on display through October 25.

The New Mexico Farm & Ranch museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for children 5 to 17. For more information, call 522-4100. The museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road.