Upcoming Area Art Happenings: May 2024



Branigan Cultural Center is accepting proposals for community exhibits with themes of cultural and historical significance relating to the Borderlands and the Southwestern U.S. to be presented in 2025. Submission topics can be wide-ranging and address historic or contemporary issues. Submissions are encouraged from formal and informal scholars, cultural heritage organizations, and individual and group artists. Proposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, May 17. All proposals must be submitted via SurveyMonkey. A link to the SurveyMonkey form can be found at the Las Cruces Museums website. Applications must include a short narrative of the exhibit theme; a statement by the scholar, artist, or group; six to 10 .jpg or .png images of proposed objects or artwork that will be displayed; and an estimate of the linear or square footage required. Exhibitions typically run for an eight- to 12-week period. Incomplete or late proposals will not be accepted. For information, visit the Museum System website at, or call 575-541-2154. Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge.

Each year Friends of Bosque del Apache hosts an art contest as part of Festival of the Cranes. The winning piece is featured as one of the faces of our event and will be released on apparel, notecards and much more. Original artwork can be any medium, including: painting, digital, printmaking, mixed media, two or three-dimensional art, photography, as well as any other. Photographs can be unaltered originals or edited. The winning artist receives a free Expo booth or table during Festival of the Cranes, where they can sell their work, from postcards to originals. They will also have the exclusive privilege of being the only artist present in the Expo Room.

Submissions are due June 30. Click on the festival link at to register.



  • RA@W Gallery in Silver City opened on March 23. Four local artists opened the gallery: Tasha Marshe, Amy McBroom and Kathryn Schmid from Silver City; and Ismelda Garza from Deming. All pieces are in their original states of paper or canvas and hung salon style on wires. All four were at Western New Mexico University enrolled at the same time in similar painting and drawing classes within the fine arts. RA@w Gallery is for artists seeking exposure within Silver City in a quaint venue at 104 Yankie Street. Interested artists can email Amy at or visit the gallery 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.
  • The Silver City Art Association hosts a First Friday gallery walk on May 4 in the Historic District of downtown Silver City. Galleries and their business friends will be open from 5-7 p.m. for receptions, art talks and other art events, with several galleries featuring artists on site to discuss their work. First Fridays are held from 5-7 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. For a map of participating galleries, or for more information about the Silver City Art Association, see
  • Light Art Space, 209 W. Broadway in Silver City, features a special sale of Mata Ortiz pottery as a fund raiser for The Border Justice Project. Mata Ortiz pottery is a derivation of the Mogollon pottery found in and around the archeological site of Casas Grandes (Paquimé) in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It is named after the modern town of Mata Ortiz, which is near the archeological site. This is an opportunity to purchase beautiful pieces at excellent prices while supporting an important local non-profit. The sales will go through June 2. Commemorating the Gila Wilderness 100 anniversary, Light art Space features Four Artists Celebrating Wilderness,” an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Jane Seavers, Fred Barraza, Gay Scheibl and Paul Hotvedt. These four Silver City artists interpret the wilderness in their work. Curated by Paul Hotvedt. “Inspirations From the Wild”is an exhibition of photography and clay works by Karen Hymer and Zoe Wolfe. The reception for both exhibitions is scheduled for 5-7 p.m., Friday, April 5. The gallery is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday; and by appointment. Info:


  • Otero Arts celebrates the 87th anniversary of the opening of the Alamogordo Women’s Club in May at Otero Artspace. In 2019, Otero Arts leased the historic building, constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) at 1118 Indiana Ave. in Alamogordo, and has been holding monthly art exhibitions as well as concerts, workshops, literary events, and community meetings at the venue, now known as Otero Artspace. This celebration sees the return of J.R. Willis’ landscapes, on loan from Otero County, which were part of the opening exhibition and reception for the Women’s Club in May 1937.  The exhibit features the Willis paintings and reproductions of WPA art from the collection of the New Mexico National New Deal Preservation Association. The exhibition opens with a reception 5-7 p.m. on May 3. The gallery is open 1-4 p.m. Thursday to Sunday every week. Info:


  • The Cloudcroft Art Society kicks off the 2024 season with a show in the back room of the Nivison Library in Cloudcroft on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27. The show features original art works by members including paintings in several media, photography and photographic art, pottery, basketry, greeting cards and more. CAS holds meetings from March through November the first Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. in the historic “Red Brick Schoolhouse” in the heart of the Village of Cloudcroft. CAS also has a Gallery in this building and hosts shows there from June through December. Info:


  • The annual Luna County Fine Arts & Crafts Show is the May 2024 exhibit at the Deming Art Center. Featured are local artists and crafters from Luna County. The exhibit is up from May 2-30 (closed Memorial Day). There will be a time to meet the artists on Sunday, May 5 from 1-3 p.m. The Deming Art Center is at 100 S. Gold St., Deming. The gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday. Info: 575-546-3663 and at


  • RioBravoFineArt, 110 North Broadway in Truth or Consequences, presents “The Quest, The Struggle, The Journey,” a retrospective of work by Dave Barnett opening on Saturday, May 11. Barnett is one of New Mexico’s most talented and original painters, and this much anticipated show will fill all three of the main-level gallery spaces. Barnett creates bold images of Southwestern flora and fauna, bosque and mountain landscapes, small town street scenes, and geologic formations, both large and small. His images always give a fresh perspective and unique view of both the natural and man-made worlds. The Barnett show runs through July 21. Rio Bravo Fine Arts Gallery is at 110 N. Broadway in Truth or Consequences. Info:


  • In honor of Smokey Bear’s 80th birthday, the Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan will be hosting a two-week exhibit of paintings by Rudy Wendelin, April 30-May 10. Wendelin began working for the Forest Service in 1933 as a draftsman and illustrator. After a stint as a Navy artist during World War II, Wendelin returned to the Forest Service and was given responsibility for the Smokey Bear project. He created hundreds of Smokey representations that highlighted natural resources conservation and forest fire prevention.  Under Wendelin’s direction, Smokey assumed the human-like characteristics for which he is best known – wearing a solemn expression, dressed in a forest ranger’s hat and jeans, and carrying a shovel.  Wendelin died on Aug. 31, 2000, at the age of 90. Thanks to Wendelin’s art, Smokey’s message, “Only YOU can prevent wildfires” has prevailed through generations. On loan from the USDA National Agricultural Library, this traveling exhibition of 19 replica paintings were completed by Wendelin from 1977-1995 and remain the most famous depictions of Smokey Bear. Smokey Bear Historical Park admission is $2 for adults, $1 for kids ages 7-12, children 6 and under are free. Park hours are 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday (last entry 4:15 p.m.). 


  • At kind of a small array, 106 N. Main in Magdalena, Michael Beitz’s prolific dedication to daily drawing will manifest at kind of a small array as a fundraiser for MEOWrefuge, the cat sanctuary Beitz operates next to his Roswell studio, where he fosters 30 homeless cats.

Dozens of cat portraits, by turns hilarious, touching, mystifying, and disturbing (just like cats!) will be on offer at a pay what you can sliding scale: $50, $75, and $100 for your choice. 100 percent of sales go to MEOWrefuge. This is an Art Magdalena event. The gallery will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 5, along with numerous other Magdalena galleries and artist’s studios. On Saturday, May 4, south to north along Main Street be sure to visit the three miniature outdoor galleries of Cruising Main, La Posada @ CWB Gallery, and Warehouse 1-10, in addition to kind of a small array, where a reception for Michael Beitz will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m, that evening. Afterwards, we’ll head down the street to Warehouse 1-10 for music provided by The Dawn Hotel at 8 p.m..

Day two of Art Magdalena, Sunday May 5, will feature poetry readings by Bruce Holsapple, Jules Nyquist, and John Roche, 2 to 3:30 p.m. @ kind of a small array. Info: MEOWrefuge,; kind of a small array,; Warehouse 1-10,; Art Magdalena,

• Six New Mexico State University undergraduate students present their work in the 2024 BFA exhibition. “Truly, Lovingly, Viciously”  runs through May 11 in the Mullennix Bridge Art Gallery in Devasthali Hall and features work from undergraduate art students Reyes Chavez, Ace Gabrentina, Pamela Herrera-De Los Santos, Eleazar Maslian, Thaddeus McRae and Trisha Quintero. The BFA Exhibition will wrap up with a closing reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9. Both events are free and open to the public. A diverse range of concepts frame the exhibition’s six students’ work. Personal stories and explored identities are integral to the works presented in this show, but the students hope the artworks have a larger impact on those who see their own experiences reflected back to them. Visit for more information on the artists and the exhibition. The UAM is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday at 1308 E. University Ave.

  • Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., features a new exhibit titled “Tlazoh Amoxochitl: Florecimiento del Conocimiento Precioso: Flowering of Precious Knowledge.” The exhibit features artwork that investigates pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultural traditions painted by kindergarten to fifth grade students at the Raices del Saber Xinachtli Community School in Las Cruces. The exhibit opens Friday, May 3, and runs through Saturday, June 22. There is an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 3. Students and teachers from the Raices del Saber Xinachtli Community School will be in attendance. An Aztec dancing group will perform during the reception. Drawing from oral traditions, the students were exposed to stories in school. Also at the Branigan is “Somos hijos de Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin; Los Manteles de mi Abuela” (“We Are Children of Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin; My Grandmother’s Tablecloths”) featuring Borderland artist Roberto Salas’ artwork that considers his mestizo heritage through depictions of sahumerios (incense burners) on decorative oilcloth tablecloths. Branigan Cultural Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge.
    Info: or 575-541-2154.
  • Soft and Hard” is the show at the Camelot Studio in May. This is an art exhibit with a focus on texture and form with Heather Murphy’s leather masks; Molly Dumas’s mixed media pieces; Laurie Churchill’s mixed media collage; and Dori McKay’s clay sculpture. Open hours at Camelot are 5-9 p.m. May 3 and 10; 6-10 p.m. May 4 and 11; 1-6 p.m. May 5 and 12; and by appointment. Camelot Studio is located at 2008 Camelot Drive, Las Cruces. Info:
  • Agave Artist Gallery features Souheir Rawlings as a new member and Artist of the Month of May. She studied in Florence, Italy and learned the psychology of the portrait. She focuses on colors and lines to show emotions and character of her figures and portraits. The gallery is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday to Monday and until 8 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month at 2250 Calle de San Albino. Info: 575-339-9870.

Martha Roditti, Las Cruces clay artist, is featured at the Tombaugh Gallery in May. She has created hundreds of charming, whimsical and decorative pieces including a variety of dragons, crows, falcons, pigs with wings, endangered Hawaiian birds, Hawaiian bats and snails, an anatomically correct T Rex (sort of), pandas, roadrunners, and goddesses. With a Friday Opening from 5:30 to 7:30 on May 3, complimentary wine and light refreshments will be served. The show continues through May 26. The Tombaugh Galle