Watercolor Society shows ‘A Movable Feast’ at Farm & Ranch Museum

A Taste of Color
“A Taste of Color” by Ruth Vreeland is part of “A Movable Feast” on display at the Farm & Ranch Museum.
Watercolor artists in southern New Mexico show their creations in a new exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.

“A Movable Feast: Foods of New Mexico” is an art show presented by the New Mexico Watercolor Society, Southern Chapter. The show will be in the museum’s Arts Corridor through August 6.

From Puebloan times to the present, agriculture and farming have played a very important role in making the Chihuahuan Desert and all of New Mexico a place where people could live. Indian, Spanish, and modern farmers have always accepted the challenges of limited water and harsh terrain as they planted and plowed to produce the foods we eat today. With hard work and dedication, they have given us such foods as chile, nuts, wine, honey and fruit; along with things like squash, corn, beans, sunflowers and yuccas. In this exhibit, NMWS members have created works based on their own visions and inspirations.

The New Mexico Watercolor Society was founded in 1969 as a statewide chapter of the Southwestern Watercolor Society, and became an independent entity in 1975. The purpose of the NMWS is to elevate the stature of watercolor as an important painting medium and to educate the public to this effort; the ultimate goal is to make New Mexico known nationally for its watercolor artists. As the southern half of the state of New Mexico grew, the need for a local chapter of the NMWS was recognized by a small group of active artists in the Las Cruces area. A proposal for the Southern Chapter’s formation was presented to and approved by the NMWS board (in Albuquerque) in October, 2001.

May 11, 7 p.m.: Culture Series: Billy the Kid’s Grave: A History of the Wild West’s Most Famous Death Marker
Author David Thomas of Las Cruces is the speaker for this presentation that explores the topsyturvy history of the death, burial spot and grave marker of Billy the Kid. Thomas’ book on the subject gives an account of the chain of events that led directly to Billy’s death, beginning with his conviction for murder and his sentencing to hang. As much as possible, these events are related using the actual words of witnesses and contemporaries. Thomas also tells the story of Billy’s burial and the many surprising incidents associated with his grave over the years.

Thomas’ other books include “Screen With A Voice — A History of Moving Pictures in Las Cruces New Mexico,” “Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Wonder of the Century — The Astonishing World Traveler Who Was A Hermit,” and “La Posta — From the Founding of Mesilla, to Corn Exchange Hotel, to Billy the Kid Museum, to Famous Landmark.” Thomas, who has a master’s degree from Texas Tech University, is currently working on a book about the killing of Pat Garrett. Admission is free.

May 15, 10 – 11 a.m.: Blessing of the Fields
The museum celebrates an old tradition with the annual Blessing of the Fields procession on May 15. Beginning at 10 a.m., there will be a colorful procession around the museum grounds to bless the animals, plants, acequia, and fresh-baked bread. Visitors who come to the museum to participate in the procession during the morning will not be charged admission. The museum will also have a plant sale as part of the festivities. Vegetables, flowers and desert plants grown in the museum’s greenhouse will be featured in the sale. This marks the 18th year that the museum has held this program, which focuses on a long and rich history in the Mesilla Valley.

The museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for children four – 17 and free for Museum Friends members with a card and children three and under. For more information, including a number of special activities for kids, call 522-4100 or visit nmfarmandranchmuseum.org.