February is [“For The Love of Art”] Month, a celebration of the arts coordinated by ArtForms Artists Association of New Mexico. Their annual member show will be held at three locations this year, including the El Paso Electric Gallery at the Rio Grande Theatre, and kicks off with an artist reception during the Downtown Ramble.
Artists showing their work at the El Paso Electric Gallery include Milette Lamphere and Ruth Drayer.
Milette Lanphere moved to Las Cruces from Mississippi at six months of age when her mother and father were both employed at NMSU. An active family, they traveled extensively through Mexico and Europe and enjoyed camping throughout the Southwestern United States. Lanphere’s mother was a prolific artist and used these outings to enrich her children’s lives with creative projects and cultural explorations. As an adult, Lanphere was driven by a love of nature and an inherited need to create. She pursued jobs that allowed close contact with animals both domestic and wild. Lanphere works in various fiber arts.
Ruth Drayer, one of the founders of ArtForms, will show her work at both the Member Show and in the ArtForms Founders’ Show at The Big Picture Gallery, 311 N. Main Street. Raised in Washington, D.C., Drayer has lived throughout the Southwest and in India before returning to Las Cruces in 2016 because she missed the Organ Mountains, the blue skies, clouds, and sunsets and the wonderful arts community. Her eclectic approach to painting was developed from studying art in the churches, museums, and galleries she visited in Europe and Asia. Beginning as a sculptor, her love of color led her to begin painting twenty-some years ago. Rather than starting with an idea, she begins by covering a canvas with a gel or compound to add texture and depth to the work, then paints in a sacred symbol or words and conceals them. Drayer layers on color until the composition “works.” Sometimes some of the hidden symbols or words appear — other times the work is simply a harmony of colors. Acrylics allow her to build up layers. “Just as colors speak a wordless language, my work may whisper or speak out boldly. Art is such an emotional experience, what is most important is if the viewer enjoys looking. Time spent with a beautiful piece of art is healing and soothing to our souls,” Drayer says.
The El Paso Electric Gallery at the Rio Grande Theatre is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The exhibit will be on display throughout the month.
Rio Grande Theatre February Events
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For more information or to purchase tickets online, go to Rio Grande Theatre or call (575) 523-6403.