Shining Stars showcases art by people with disabilities

Not all the art in our area is found in traditional galleries or museums. Sometimes there is a gallery waiting to be discovered someplace a little different, such as the Tombaugh Gallery at the Unitarian Universalist Church or the Las Cruces Arts Association’s exhibits at the Community Enterprise Center.

Shining Stars
The Tombaugh Gallery presents the Shining Stars exhibit, the artwork of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The show opens on Sunday, August 7, with a reception at 11:30 am. By creating story boards, the artists tell their stories, expressing what makes them a “shining star.” The artists have been invited to speak about their artwork at the reception. The Tombaugh Gallery is located at 2000 S. Solano, inside the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces.

The artists took part in a two-day event, in which they created 24 in square portraits of their lives. Beth Mount, a quilt artist and advocate for people with disabilities, facilitated the process. The artists were encouraged to bring personal photos and memorabilia important to them. Additional collage materials, including pictures, fabrics, and papers were provided for the collage process. Working together with the support of family and others, the individuals were able to tell their stories of resilience, capability, and courage in a fun and creative way, resulting in a beautiful final product.

The Tombaugh Gallery is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The show closes on August 26.

Las Cruces Arts Association
The Las Cruces Arts Association’s featured artist for August is Pat Manchaca. Many of her works can be seen August 5 during the First Friday Arts Ramble from 5 – 7 p.m., the second Wednesday Evening Market, 5 – 9 p.m., and the third Saturday Market, 9 a.m. – noon, all in downtown Las Cruces at the Community Enterprise Center, next to the Bistro Ale House.

A member of LCAA, Patricia Menchaca was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1981. She studied drawing and graphic design at the University of Texas at El Paso, while working as a freelance artist. She now lives in Las Cruces with her wife and best friend, Eunice, and their two children, Isaac and Isaiah. For four years, she has worked with colored pencil on black surface, allowing her spiritual growth to lead her into a place where creation is constant. There is a meditative process in the detail and time each piece takes. She calls her work “Visual Prayers,” because they are recorded moments of her personal thoughts and prayers to God.

“There is not one thing separate from another in His universe. This belief is what started my spiritual journey, and also started the greatest shift in the art I make. With thinking about the oneness of everything and everyone, I gained a strong curiosity to want to see things at their smallest particles and atoms. Nature, form, pattern, texture, color, and love are the driving elements for my current work.”