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Reception for New Artwork at Railroad Museum

Railroad Museum LogoThe Las Cruces Railroad Museum will officially cut the ribbon on their latest acquisition, a piece by renowned sculptor, Stephen Hansen. Commissioned by an anonymous donor, the latest addition to the museum will remain on display permanently.

Join the Foundation for Las Cruces Museums and the Green Chamber of Commerce for a reception on Thursday, September 18, 2014, 5:30-7pm at the Railroad Museum. The reception is free, and admission to Las Cruces museums is always free.

Thursday, September 18, 5:30-7pm

Learn About Edible Plants in the Chihuahuan Desert

Branigan Cultural Center LogoCarolyn Gressitt, president of the Las Cruces chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico, will give a lecture on Edible Plants in the Chihuahuan Desert on Saturday, September 27 at noon at Branigan Cultural Center.

This September, Branigan Cultural Center is featuring three new exhibits, blown: paintings by rwmullenix, Distorted Senses of Proportion by Rachel Abrams, and J.W. Fike’s Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of the North American Continent. A common thread through these exhibits is the importance of plant life and plant parts as artistic inspiration. Programming throughout the month of September will highlight this theme, bringing visitors lectures and activities that connect to our local flora.

Edible Plants in the Chihuahuan Desert will present many of the edible native plants that can be easily found in our environment, in addition to some non-native “weeds” that are edible. In addition, Ms. Gressitt will explain the ethics of collecting seeds and plant parts from wild native species. She will give a slide presentation and bring handouts, including the Native Plant Society of New Mexico newsletter and brochure, so that visitors can get involved with this local educational and advocacy group. More information on the group can be found at: http://www.npsnm.org/about/chapters/las-cruces/. Join us for this detailed insight into the edible landscape right before our eyes. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ms. Gressitt has been an active member of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico since 1994, but her interest in plants goes back much further, to her childhood in Hawaii. At Oberlin College, she took courses in botany but eventually settled on English, going on to her Masters at NMSU. However, her love for wandering the desert and mountains of Southern New Mexico and her delight in local plants have sustained her life as an amateur botanist to this day.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm and admission is free. The Branigan will be reopening after renovation for the First Friday Arts Ramble on September 5. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s Facebook page or website at las-cruces.org/museums.

Prep Your Indoor Winter Garden at Museum Workshop

Museum of Nature & Science LogoWith monsoons, 100 degree weather, and gardens in full production, it’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner! Join the Museum of Nature and Science, Las Cruces Tree Stewards, and Branigan Cultural Center to get in gear for your fall and winter gardens with a morning of fun activities for young and old alike on Saturday, September 20, 10am-noon, at Branigan Cultural Center. The program is free and open to the public.

Branigan Cultural Center LogoThe workshop will provide several different ways to start an indoor winter garden, with complexity and style suited to a range of ages and abilities. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer your gardening questions, including the popular Ask a Tree Steward for all your tree needs.

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Schedule:

10 am: City of Las Cruces arborist Les Finley and the Museum of Nature and Science’s Family Science Saturday series present: “Right tree, Right place, Right way” in the MoNaS classroom. Learn how, where and when to plant your native and desert-adapted trees, followed by a desert willow seedling giveaway.

11 am: gardening activities in the Branigan Cultural Center courtyard:

  • Ask a Tree Steward
  • Building an Indoor Terrarium
  • Plant your Winter Edible Plant Windowbox
  • Create a Self-Watering Planter with Recycled Materials
  • Seed and Leaf Identification

This September, Branigan Cultural Center is featuring three new exhibitsblown: paintings by rwmullenix, Distorted Senses of Proportion by Rachel Abrams, and J.W. Fike’s Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of the North American Continent. A common thread through these exhibits is the importance of plant life and plant parts as artistic inspiration. Programming throughout the month of September will highlight this theme, bringing visitors lectures and activities that connect to our local flora.

Family Science Saturday classes are an exploration into the many facets of science.  Classes are open to science enthusiasts of all ages and take place every Saturday at 10am at the Museum of Nature and Science. See the Museum’s website, Facebook page, or quarterly programming guide for topics.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. The Museum of Nature and Science is located at 411 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm and admission is free. The Branigan will be reopening after renovation for the First Friday Arts Ramble on September 5. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s Facebook page or website at las-cruces.org/museums.

Mixed Media Landscapes at Branigan Cultural Center

Branigan Cultural Center LogoThe Branigan Cultural Center is pleased to present the works of mixed media landscape artist Robert Mullenix. His new seriesblown, reflects a dual interest in photography and painting. The exhibition opens at 5 pm Friday, September 5, and runs through Saturday, September 27, in our newly renovated Shannon Gallery.

In his artist statement, Mullenix describes his creative process:

“The photograph is the basis for these images; it reflects a conceptual, as well as a physical distance from the subject matter, as we tend to experience the outdoors vicariously through the filter of media.  Derived from photographs of trees, generally found in publication, and digitally manipulated, I enlarge these images using photocopies–emphasizing the dot-matrix of the print process. The photocopies are altered via collage and the toner is often transferred to either canvas or board.  This is the basis for the final painting; the photographic image is repainted using acrylic and/or oil paint. While it is often the case that the dot pattern of the print process dictates the brush mark (sometimes repeating, sometimes echoed by pointillist-like brush strokes), the color and light are invented.  In keeping with these tensions, I investigate cool/warm, high key/low key contrasts, as well as luminescence and iridescence.  I am increasingly interested in abstraction and perception, color and fields of pattern which read as foliage.  The end result is that the final image is partially photographic, partially hand-rendered, and almost always pixilated–the photograph is translated into paint.  The hand of the artist is subject to the mechanics of the photographic process.  The photographic image is transformed by the hand of the artist.”

shift, 6" x 9", 2014, courtesy Robert Mullenix

shift, 6″ x 9″, 2014, courtesy Robert Mullenix

Mullenix earned his Bachelor of Arts from Sioux Falls College in 1987.  He received his MFA in painting in 1990, and his MA in Art Education in 1995, both from the University of Illinois.  His works have been featured in exhibitions throughout the US.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. The Branigan Cultural Center will be closed for renovation June 30 – late August.  Upon reopening, regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The exhibits and events are free and open to the public.For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at las-cruces.org/museums.

 

Botanicals Photo Exhibit on September 5

Branigan Cultural Center LogoThe Branigan Cultural Center proudly presents J.W. Fike’s Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of the North American Continent: Plates in which the Edible Parts of the Specimen have been Illustrated in Color. Opening Friday, September 5, during the Downtown Ramble, the exhibition runs through Saturday, September 27, in our newly renovated Shannon Gallery.

To describe his artistic process, Fike says, “The plant is excavated, arranged in a studio, photographed, then illustrated digitally in such a way as to render the edible parts in color while the remaining parts, less emphatically, read as photograms.” These images beautifully reference early botanical studies, while embracing contemporary techniques of digital imaging, and are vitally relevant to issues of sustainability. “These edible plants grow all around us, in yards, alleys, ditches, and empty lots. Each testifies to our symbiotic evolution with all of life, and function as both metaphor and proof of our intimate tether to the natural world”, says Fike.

Dandelion, C-Print, 16” x 15”, 2011, by  J.W. Fike

Dandelion, C-Print, 16” x 15”, 2011, by J.W. Fike

Fike was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1970. He earned a BA in Art from Auburn University in Alabama, and an MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. His artwork has been shown in over seventy exhibitions across the U.S.  He currently teaches at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Arizona.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. The Branigan Cultural Center will be closed for renovation June 30 – late August.  Upon reopening, regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The exhibits and events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at las-cruces.org/museums.

Mixed Media Installation at the Branigan Cultural Center in September

Branigan Cultural Center LogoIn September, the Branigan Cultural Center is pleased to present Distorted Senses of Proportion, a mixed media installation by Brooklyn artist Rachel B. Abrams. Abrams’s exhibition includes sculptural installations and mixed-media drawings and collages which focus on how ecosystems and life cycles are affected by climate change, overpopulation and invasive species. She hopes to encourage an awareness of the often-overlooked confrontations of natural and non-natural habitats.

The installation includes “frustrules” – her term for the encroaching clusters of organic forms she creates from recycled foam. Also on display are elegant sculptures, mixed media drawings, and collages, using minimalist, repeated forms to represent the disruption of ecological systems and habitats.

Allowable Residues by Rachel B Abrams

Allowable Residues by Rachel B Abrams

In her artist statement, Abrams describes her creative approach: “I am interested in the relationships between information and placement, action and consequence, experience and time, ritual and movement, layering and memory, empathy and entropy. Much of my work develops out of studio experimentation, combining material studies with research focused on science, language, categorization, significance, translation, and orientation. Each investigation leads to further explorations and questions.”

Rachel B. Abrams lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and has had several national solo exhibitions. She received her MFA in Glass from Alfred University and her BFA in Studio Art from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She exhibits regularly throughout the United States and has been awarded residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; Assilah Forum Foundation, Assilah, Morocco; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France; and Custom House Studios, County Mayo, Ireland.

For more information about the artist visit: http://rachelbabramsart.blogspot.com.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. The Branigan Cultural Center will be closed for renovation June 30 – late August.  Upon reopening, regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The exhibits and events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at las-cruces.org/museums.

Earthly Afterlife of Billy Kid: History Lecture at Branigan Cultural Center

Branigan Cultural Center LogoDr. Jeff Schwehn will present the September 2014 History Notes lecture at Branigan Cultural Center on Thursday, September 11 at 1pm. His lecture is titled The Earthly Afterlife of Billy the Kid.

We all know of Billy the Kid. We all have our opinions of his role in New Mexican and American history. Dr. Schwehn will explore the circumstances and characteristics of Billy the Kid that place him in the forefront of our imagination of the American frontier. How on earth did a very young laborer from a non-descript background become arguably the most popular icon of the American West? This presentation will examine territorial Lincoln County, The Lincoln County War, William H. McCarty’s (Billy the Kid’s) journey to and role in the Lincoln County War, Billy the Kid’s ascent to legendary status, and the character traits that ensure Billy the Kid’s continuing prominence in the Myth of the American West. Join us to continue to create, through learning and discussion, “the earthly afterlife of Billy the Kid.”

Dr. Jeff Schwehn is a retired Clinical Psychologist who has practiced in Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Alamogordo, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dr. Schwehn has a Master’s Degree in Psychology from New Mexico Highlands University and a Ph. D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Schwehn’s psychological research focused on how culture influences individuals’ perceptions and values. Dr. Schwehn is currently an amateur historian with a special interest in the New Mexico Territorial Period, 1850-1912. He has spent the last two years studying the many records and interpretations of the life of Billy the Kid.

History Notes, monthly lectures on historical topics, take place on the second Thursday of each month at 1 pm. Please check our webpage or Facebook for a full listing of these and other Branigan Cultural Center public programs.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. The Branigan will be reopening after renovation for the First Friday Arts Ramble on September 5. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at las-cruces.org/museums.

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