Museum of Art features local collections: Las Cruces Collects

The Las Cruces Museum of Art presents Las Cruces Collects, featuring works from the collections of Billy and Cynthia Garrett, Lynn Wiley and John Purcell, and the New Mexico State University Art Gallery. The exhibition opens Friday, February 6, from 5 – 7 p.m. during the First Friday Ramble. The show concludes Saturday, March 29. (The Garrett portion of the exhibition will close at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.)

The Billy and Cynthia Garrett collection features works in various mediums, including pieces by Las Cruces artists Rosemary McLoughlin, Jeanne Rundell, Stephen Hansen, Joyce Macrorie, and multiple works by John Garrett, brother of Billy Garrett. Artist Lynn Wiley and her husband John Purcell share prints accumulated over the course of Wiley’s own printmaking and teaching career. Works include prints by notable artists Pat Steir and Elmer Schooley, among others. The University Art Gallery presents two series from its collection, showcasing Mexican photographer Manuel Carillo (1906 – 1989) and conceptual multimedia artist Ceilia Alvarez Muñoz.

Jazz Garden by John Garrett is one of the many pieces on exhibit during Las Cruces Collects at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Courtesy photo.
Jazz Garden by John Garrett is one of the many pieces on exhibit during Las Cruces Collects at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Courtesy photo.
Las Colcheras Quilt Guild
The Branigan Cultural Center presents a series of educational programs and guided tours of Number, p l e a s e…, an exhibition of quilts from the 2015 Las Colcheras Quilt Guild Challenge. The exhibit opens Friday, February 6, during the First Friday Ramble, 5 – 7 p.m., and will be on display through Saturday, March 21.

This year’s challenge revolves around numbers. We already know that quilters have sharp math skills they put to use in measuring, fitting, and stitching a quilt, but the Las Colcheras quilters take this idea a step further in 2015, by incorporating numbers into the titles, designs, and repetitions found in the quilt.

On Friday, February 6, 5 – 7 p.m., quilters from the guild will be present during the First Friday Ramble and opening reception to lead guests through the exhibit and answer questions about the quilts.

On Saturday, February 7, from 10 a.m. – noon, in conjunction with Las Cruces Connects, members of Las Colcheras will lead guided tours of the exhibit, showing visitors unique features of the quilts on display and discussing the annual quilt challenge. These guest museum guides will also show how the themes of numbers are reflected in each of the quilts.

Throughout the run of the exhibit, every Wednesday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. – noon, a group of quilters from Las Colcheras will work on a large quilt in the gallery. They will be present to answerquestions and assist viewers in the exhibition, as they demonstrate quilting techniques.

On Saturday, February 28, at noon, the museum will present a roundtable discussion of quilting techniques and styles. A number of quilters will be on hand for this casual conversation. Bring in your quilting questions or come to see the variety of designs and styles incorporated into the work of the colcheras.

The guild members will bring in completed and in-progress quilts that visitors can examine up-close, as they learn about the range of outcomes possible through quilting.

The final program will be a hands-on workshop on Yoyo Quilting to close out the exhibit on Saturday, March 21, at noon. Participants will learn about this popular technique for creating quilting segments without the use of a sewing machine. This workshop is free and supplies are provided, but registration is recommended, as space is limited. Please bring your own small scissors to the workshop.

Las Colcheras Quilt Guild is dedicated to promoting the art of quilting in the Mesilla Valley. The guild endorses the philosophy of community service and engages in activities that support that philosophy. Each year, they issue a guild quilt challenge, followed by a judging for rosettes and cash awards. Entries are displayed publicly in Las Cruces in the months of January or February, a tradition dating back to 2005.

Las Cruces Connects Arts Weekend
The Branigan Cultural Center, Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, and Railroad Museum are all participating the 2015 Las Cruces Connects Arts Weekend, with programs on Friday, February 6, and Saturday, February 8.

The museums welcome four new exhibits during the First Friday Ramble, 5 – 7 p.m. The Museum of Art presents Las Cruces Collects, the Branigan Cultural Center welcomes Number, p l e a s e… and Mesilla Valley Scenes, by Artamants. At the Railroad Museum, the Watercolor Society of Southern New Mexico presents Wheels & Wings: Tracing Our Heritage. Artists and collectors will be present at the museums during the First Friday Ramble opening receptions.

On Saturday, February 7, each museum will present exhibit-related tours, talks, and activities for a range of audiences:

For adults: Branigan Cultural Center, 10 a.m. – noon: Guided Tours of Quilt show: Number, p l e a s e…

Museum of Art: 12:30 p.m.: Art Collecting: Where Do I Start? Exhibits Curator Joy Miller presents a lively talk about the collections on display in Las Cruces Collects and how you might embark on your own collector’s journey. Art — it’s not as hard as you think.

For families and kids: Museum of Art, 11:30 a.m.: Treasure Chests: A Place to Keep Your Collection

Everyone collects something, but where do you keep it? Join Education Curator Kimberly Hanson in making a place to keep your treasures and receive a small item to kick start your collection.

Branigan Cultural Center, 10 a.m.: Vamos a Explorar on Painting. Join the museum for a Spanish language program on painting techniques for kids.

11 a.m., Painting workshop. Try your hand at a few new painting materials and techniques in this fun workshop.

Las Cruces Ukes performance
The Las Cruces Ukes will perform at the Branigan Cultural Center on February 14, from 1 – 2 p.m. Las Cruces Ukes is a community group of ukulele enthusiasts who perform beloved tunes of days gone by. They practice each Thursday from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Hubbard’s Music-N-More and welcome new members. For more information, go to or call Cheryl Fallstead at 405-7133.

The performance is free and open to the public and is hosted by ArtForms, the organization behind February’s annual For the Love of Art Month celebration. ArtForms supports and promotes all artistic forms, including visual, literary and performing arts because art, artists and the business of art are vital to the social and economic development of our community. The mission of ArtForms is to ensure that our creative community is regarded as a revenue-generating industry that has broad visibility and a solid resource network. They work toward the recognition of the greater Las Cruces area as an international art and culture destination. During the month of February, ArtForms can be found in galleries and artistic venues throughout Las Cruces. For a full listing, please pick up the For Love of Art Event Guide at the Branigan Cultural Center or other participating locations.

Borderland Fridas retablo workshop
The Borderland Fridas will present a workshop on retablos at the Branigan Cultural Center on Saturday, February 21, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

To celebrate the very first Spanish Colonial Arts Society’s Santero Market coming to Las Cruces, the Borderland Fridas are offering a retablo making workshop. Participants will be provided with an unfinished wood retablo base and paints to create your own retablo.

A guest speaker will discuss the importance of the retablo in devotional art along with the history and meaning of this New Mexican devotional and cultural artform, followed by a reading of Rudolfo Anaya’s The Santero’s Miracle.

Although retablos are generally used to display religious devotion, specifically those of the Catholic faith, the workshop will be non-denominational and open to everyone, of all beliefs and religions. Participants are welcome to express their faith, their devotion, or their gratitude in this ancient and traditional art form that has become very popular here in the Southwest and Borderlands.

Cost is free, but space is limited. Please make reservations by sending an email to: or call Pamela Enriquez-Courts at 520-5246. For more information, see:!retablo-workshop/c14k1.

Adult evening at the museums
Join the Las Cruces Museums on Friday, February 27, for an informal evening of refreshments, conversation and presentations on animal courting behaviors from 6 – 9 p.m. Take a peek into the secretive world of the animal kingdom with the museums.

Enjoy child-free, brain-building science fun at the museums featuring live demos, fascinating presentations and a chance to explore the museum after dark. Guests can indulge in tasty snacks, sweets, and local beers (available at a cash bar) provided by the High Desert Brewery. The event is free, but you must be 21 or over to enter;, IDs are required. This program is sponsored by the Foundation for Las Cruces Museums.

Sin Fronteras poetry reading
Sin Fronteras will give a poetry reading at the Branigan Cultural Center on February 28, from 1 – 3 p.m.

Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders is a non‑profit literary arts organization in Las Cruces devoted to encouraging a community of established and emerging writers, developing audiences for these writers, and giving voice to those whose voices may not be heard. Sin Fronteras is under the umbrella of the Doña Ana Arts Council.

The program is free and open to the public.

Call for Submissions: Here and Now Regional Exhibition
The Las Cruces Museum of Art, in partnership with the Stanlee Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, University of Texas at El Paso, announces its open call for submissions for Here and Now, a regional exhibition to be displayed at both venues May – July, 2015. Artists living and working within a 150 mile radius of Las Cruces, NM, are eligible.

To submit:
Online, digital submissions will be accepted January 5 – February 27, 2015. Download complete submissions guidelines at

For additional information, contact Joy Miller, or 541-2221.

The City of Las Cruces Museum System has four museums. The Branigan Cultural Center, Museum of Art, and Museum of Nature & Science are at 501 – 411 N. Main Street, with the Railroad Museum close by at 351 N. Mesilla Street. The Main Street museums are open Tuesdays – Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Railroad Museum is open Thursday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. All of the City of Las Cruces museums are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the museums’ website at or find them on Facebook.