Four Exhibits You Don’t Want To Miss in January -

The new year has begun and the clock is ticking, which means if you’ve been putting off that trip to catch the latest exhibits at the Branigan Cultural Center, The Las Cruces Museum of Art, The Doña Ana Arts & Cultural Center or the Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery, you may want to do so soon. These four exhibitions will be ending their runs during January, some sooner than others, so pay attention.

The first to expire is the Branigan Cultural Center’s Place and Replace: Las Cruces Urban Renewal, 1960-1975. Focusing on the urban renewal efforts in Las Cruces during the 1960s and 1970s, and the issues facing city and business leaders during that time, this exhibition makes use of collections from the NMSU Library, Archives and Special Collections. Included are fascinating records, images and oral histories by the people who were impacted. A truly inspiring piece of local history that will answer a lot of questions concerning downtown Las Cruces, both then and now. On view since October, the show is slated to come down on January 15. For more information, visit the website, or call 575-541-2154.

Next up on the block is Allure of the Near East: Treasures of the Huntington Museum of Art, at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Featuring 45 timeless treasures meant for palaces as well as ordinary homes, this show is a first-class touring exhibit, with such items on display as fine glassware, ceramics, metalwork, painting, weaponry, weaving and so much more. If you are a connoisseur of ancient cultures, or just want to see how they lived, this is a show you don’t want to miss. Also on view since October, this show departs on January 22. For more information, visit the website, or call 575-541-2137.

As with most of their shows, the Doña Ana Arts & Cultural Center’s latest exhibit, a joint effort by painters Darien Bogart and Mary Prentice, is up for just one month. Vibrant and colorful are two of the words best used to describe the paintings in this show, with Bogart leaning heavily on his background as a graphic artist to showcase his landscape visions, while Prentice amuses and inspires with her whimsical pop art birds. The show comes down on January 31, to make room for another show. For more information, visit the website, or call the DAAC office at 575-523-6403.

And, finally, another show coming down at the end of the month, The Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery’s showcase of Patricia Black and Richard Spellenberg’s nature sculptures. Gourd art is a familiar sight here in New Mexico, but Black’s uses of other materials – beads, features, leather straps, etc. – in conjunction with the gourds makes for some beautiful compositions. Spellenberg’s woodwork takes inspiration from his years as a botanist and biology professor, with delicately wrought pieces worth owning. Both artists are regular contributors to the art gallery, but most of these works will go away on January 31. For more information, visit the website, or call 575-522-2933.

Other shows worth catching, though not ending this month, include the fascinating ‘bet-you-didn’t-know exhibition Cleared For Take Off: Aviation in Southern New Mexico at the Branigan Cultural Center, and artist Sue Nichols’ gorgeous paean to farm and ranch life, An Enchanted Vision: the Artistic Celebration of Farming and Ranching in New Mexico, at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. Viewing the world through the eyes of others is one very good way to exercise those brain muscles that have grown mushy while we’ve been in quarantine. So slap on your mask and check these exhibits out, before they’re gone!


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