‘Shell-ebrate’ turtles at Tombaugh Gallery in May

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Desert Exposure and the Tombaugh Gallery are celebrating World Turtle Day in May with an invitational art show featuring many local artists depicting all things turtle in their favorite medium, including gourds, clay, mixed media, paintings and drawings, the gallery said in a news release.

The exhibit opens with a reception and poetry reading 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at Tombaugh Gallery, 2000 S. Solano Drive, which is part of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces.

A second reception will be held 5-7 p.m. Monday, May 23, the date World Turtle Day is traditionally celebrated. Participants in the second reception will have the opportunity to sculpt their own turtle, listen to turtle poetry and have photos taken with a desert box turtle.

World Turtle Day was established in 2000 to “shell-ebrate” turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. They have inhabited the Earth for more 200 million years but today “are disappearing at an alarming rate due to global warming, the pet trade, habitat destruction and the exotic food industry, the gallery said.

Locally, sightings of box turtles in the wild has become a rare occurrence, the gallery said. Just a few years ago, they could be found regularly in the foothills and arroyos around town.

Tombaugh Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

For more information, contact Lurene John at 503-490-4908.