Social justice exhibit on display at Branigan Cultural Center

The museums operated by the City of Las Cruces have a diverse line-up of events and exhibit this month, including commemorating Downs Syndrome Awareness Month and Tom Lea Month.

Tortando Pasos Ajenos: Social Justice and Inequalities in the Borderlands at Branigan CC

Trotando Pasos Ajenos is an art and cultural exhibit that features 12 interactive educational installments designed to appeal to a wide audience that focus on regional issues of justice inequality as they pertain to identity, environment, history, immigration, law, and faith. It also provides an opportunity to come together for an interactive experience that promotes awareness and comprehension of these issues.

Understanding these issues helps our community arrive at ways to lessen inequalities and their consequences — especially in the borderlands.

Explore a series of regional social justice topics, create a dialogue, and approach these topics with a new understanding.

The exhibit was curated by Dr. Dulcinea Lara, Dr. Nicholas Natividad professors at NMSU’s department of Criminal justice who specialize on issues of social justice in crime and law. The exhibit designer is artist and filmmaker Daniel Aguilar.

Programing for the exhibit includes a documentary screening titled “Fruits of our Labor” by Daniel Aguilar as well as a lecture series, and additional programing for all ages.

The exhibit will run from October 6 to January 6, 2018.

Celebrating muralist Tom Lea

October is Tom Lea month and the Branigan Cultural Center will host a special lecture to honor Lea and his work. Dr. Debora Rindge will present a lecture entitled “Tom Lea’s Murals in New Mexico and Texas in the 1930s” on Saturday, October 14, at 11 a.m. at the Branigan Cultural Center.

Tom Lea was known as an extraordinary muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, portraitist, landscapist, novelist and historian. His murals, dating from the 1930s, express the history and character of distinct regions of the United States and are found on the walls of public buildings from Washington, D.C. to El Paso, Texas. As an eyewitness artist correspondent for LIFE magazine during World War II, Tom Lea traveled more than 100,000 miles to record U.S. and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen waging war worldwide. He wrote and illustrated bestselling novels, “The Brave Bulls” and “The Wonderful Country,” and a dozen other books about subjects as diverse as mountaineering in Wyoming, horse training in 16th century New Spain, and the history of the King Ranch. His paintings depict remote and exotic places from Ecuador to China, but primarily capture subjects found near his home on the border between Mexico and Texas.

Dr. Debora Rindge is an art historian and founder of the consulting firm Mirari in Las Cruces. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, was a professor and gallery director for many years, and a Fulbright Scholar in American Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She is a specialist in art of the American West, and in 2004 she and William Thompson co-authored the catalogue and cocurated the national travelling exhibit, “Light from the Sky: A Tom Lea Retrospective, 1907 – 2001.”

Downs Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and the City of Las Cruces Museums will host Down Syndrome Awareness Day on October 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The City of Las Cruces Museums, in partnership with Down Syndrome Families of Las Cruces, will host various free, fun, and inclusive activities for the entire family to enjoy.

A-1 Machine Shop photography exhibit

The A-1 Machine Shop exhibit, featuring photography by Mel Stone, continues through Saturday, November 8.

The exhibition offers a photographic tour of A-1 Machine Shop, owned and operated by Las Cruces native Rudy Tirre for more than 30 years.

The shop, located in Las Cruces’ historic Mesquite District, grinds valves, re-bores engine blocks, grinds crank shafts, and does other specialty jobs that bigger shops are reluctant to handle.

Also continuing at the Branigan Cultural Center is a photography exhibit about the famous Grand Old Opry and at the Museum of Art, “From the Ground Up XXVIII.”

Brown Bag Lecture on Border Patrol

The Las Cruces Railroad Museum hosts a free Brown Bag Lecture at 12 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month. On October 10, David Ham, acting director of the National Border Patrol Museum in El Paso, will present “The Origin and Mission of the U.S. Border Patrol Museum.”

The only Border Patrol museum in the United States is located in El Paso and relates the history of the organization from its early beginnings in the Old West, into the high-tech Patrol of today. The idea for this museum was initially proposed in 1978 by a group of retired Border Patrol Inspectors. It opened in 1985 in a basement in El Paso, and over the years has grown and evolved into the building where it has been housed since 1994.

Ham, a retired Border Patrol Agent with 31 years of service, began his career in Columbus, New Mexico and retired from El Paso. In addition to being acting director, he is also currently the president of the Board of Governors of the National Border Patrol Museum.

The Railroad Museum is located at 351 N. Mesilla Street.

The city’s four museums (Railroad, Museum of Art, Branigan Cultural Center, and Museum of Nature and Science) are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, visit the website at