Museums feature artwork with roots in India and Japan

Spiraling Pyramid by Gaku Shakunaga is on exhibit at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Courtesy photo.
Spiraling Pyramid by Gaku Shakunaga is on exhibit at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Courtesy photo.
The Branigan Cultural Center presents Painted Parallels, featuring the artwork of Dr. Sohini Dhar and Sudeshna Sengupta. Both artists earned their degrees in Fine Arts from Visva Bharati University in India. Dhar lives and teaches in Kolkata, India, and Sengupta lives in Las Cruces. The exhibition will be on display through Saturday, August 20. The artist’s reception for the exhibit will be on Friday, August 5, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Painted Parallels is comprised of paintings, drawings, textiles, and prints by Dhar and Sengupta. The exhibit showcases the development of two separate bodies of work by these artists who share common creative roots. While these artists began their career on a similar path, their artwork has evolved separately, resulting in similarities and contrasts that the audience is invited to explore.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. All four city museums are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission to city museums is free.

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

For additional information, visit the website at lascruces. org/museums or call 541-2154.

Plastics Unwrapped at Branigan Cultural Center
This free back-to-school workshop will teach families the benefits of recycling and reusing plastics in their lives on Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Branigan Cultural Center.

This will be a fun and interactive workshop for families where attendees will learn how to convert a plastic gallon milk jug into a convenient supply box.

The workshop will be presented in conjunction with the Plastics Unwrapped exhibit, which runs until August 20.

Plastics Unwrapped examines how plastics have changed the world, through a range of topics. Discover what life was like before plastics, how they are made, why they’re so convenient and beneficial to use, and what happens after we throw them away. Understand what the recycling numbers mean on plastic items, and learn about promising breakthroughs in science that are changing the role of plastic in our lives.

Nature, Tradition, and Innovation at Museum of Art
Nature, Tradition, and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection opens in the Las Cruces Museum of Art on Friday, August 5. The opening reception is 5 – 7 p.m., during the Downtown Ramble.

The exhibition, curated by Christine Knoke of the Mingei International Museum, San Diego, is an engaging interdisciplinary look at contemporary Japanese ceramics paired with nature photographs. Featuring 43 exceptional
Japanese ceramicists, Nature, Tradition, and Innovation showcases ceramic objects of beauty made for everyday use. The works selected for exhibition are closely associated with Japan’s historical pottery centers, reinterpreting traditional methods in a modern context.

Nature, Tradition, and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection was developed by Mingei International Museum and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. The exhibition continues through October 15.

The museum is located at 491 N. Main Street. For additional information, visit the website at or call 541-2137.

Reading Art Book Club
The Las Cruces Museum of Art’s monthly Reading Art Book Club will have an open, group discussion on the book Degas: In Search of His Technique by Denis Rouart on August 10 at 2:30 p.m. An expert on painting techniques, Rouart relates how Degas’s stylistic ambitions led him to experiment with egg tempera, gouache, pastels, and other materials.

To jump start the discussion, the Museum of Art will show the documentary The Impressionists: Degas a 1:30 p.m. This unique study of the life and times of Degas illustrates his pioneering approach to the precision of line and use of human form in space within the Impressionist movement.

Reading Art Book Club meetings are free and open to the public. For more information or for details on book selections, contact Stephanie Abdon at 541-2217 or e-mail

Railroad Museum: Brown Bag Lecture
Fred Friedman will present a free lecture that explores the effects railroads have had on all aspects New Mexico life, from the time prior to statehood until today. This lecture, “New Mexico’s Railroads and the Transition from Territory to Statehood,” is offered as part of the monthly Brown Bag Lecture series Tuesday, August 9, at noon at the Las Cruces Railroad Museum.

Friedman has a broad background in New Mexico railroading history. He served as head of the state’s Railroad Bureau for many years, then investigated railroad accidents throughout the country for law firms. After retirement, he acted as an expert witness in railroad cases. He is responsible for dozens of reports and studies associated with railroad freight and passenger service in New Mexico and throughout the United States.

He has authored numerous works about New Mexico railroad history, including subjects such as Santa Fe County Railroads, 1880 to the Present; The Zuni Mountain Railroad; and Railroad Depots of New Mexico. He is currently researching the subject of Native American railroad workers, known as “steel gangs.” Friedman lives in Santa Fe and is a board member of the Historical Society of New Mexico.

This program is sponsored by a grant from the Historical Society of New Mexico.