One of Las Cruces’ best kept secrets is its vibrant art scene. At any given time throughout the year, visitors can enjoy a variety of visual and performing arts at a number of unique venues. It is because of dedication and passion for the arts that Las Cruces has officially proclaimed February to be “For the Love of Art” month.
To honor the community’s commitment to the arts, ArtForms Artists Association of New Mexico, a local, non-profit art organization, has worked with hundreds of art aficionados, artists and cultural organizations to create a great experience for everyone to enjoy. Activities range from visual art exhibits, plays, and poetry readings to concerts, musical performances, film, dance and special art events at various locations throughout Las Cruces.
Downtown Art Ramble Kickoff event
To kick off the celebration, the Association will be having their ArtForms Member Exhibition on February 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. during the monthly Downtown Art Ramble. The kickoff occurs simultaneously at three locations: Mas Art located at 126 S. Main Street, the El Paso Electric Gallery located at 211 N. Main Street (inside the Rio Grande Theatre), and at the Main Street Bistro located at 139 N. Main Street. Directly following the Art Ramble, beginning at 7 p.m., the Rio Grande Theatre will be the place for a special screening of local films produced and shot in southern New Mexico by Las Cruces-based production company PRC Productions. Included in the line-up will be trailers, webisodes and short films, including Troy Scoughton Jr’s directorial debut “Last Night On Mars,” Cody Dalton’s critically acclaimed “Anti-Minute” and Aron Hethcox’ mutant thriller “Quimera.” All screenings are intended for mature audiences only.
As part of the month-long celebration, ArtForms has organized studio tours with local artists. During the weekends of February 14-15 and 21-22, the public will get an opportunity to visit these artists in their workshops and get to know them on a personal level. These artists produce some of the finest artwork in the Southwest, using mediums that include oil, pastels, watercolor, glass, photography, mixed media, wood, ceramics, fiber art and others.
One of the special features of this celebration is the Saturday performances at the Branigan Cultural Center. Performances will begin on February 8 with music from The Las Cruces Ukes, a local ukulele ensemble. Visitors can listen to the talented vocals of the Alma D’arte School Choir on February 21. The performances will conclude on February 28, with poetry readings from the Sin Fronteras Literary Group. All the performance will begin at 1 p.m. The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 500 N. Water St. in Downtown Las Cruces.
There are many more activities happening throughout the community during the month of February and throughout the year. Visit artformsnm.org or for more information.