Doña Ana County



More than 100 pieces of original student artwork from the Las Cruces and Gadsden public schools have been installed in the first-floor corridors of the Doña Ana County Government Center at 845 N. Motel Blvd. in Las Cruces. The exhibit includes paintings, etchings, drawings and a gigantic papier-mâché and fabric dragon hung in the rotunda. The artists range from elementary students to high schoolers.

The student art shows have been a rotating fixture for Doña Ana County’s main lobby since 2000, with hundreds of works by local student artists displayed for the public during that time.

The student art exhibit complements the permanent art collection within the Doña Ana County Government Center, which includes a series of historical photographs in the upstairs rotunda, as well as a spectacular photograph of the Organ Mountains donated in 2007 by Las Cruces artist R. Frederick Silva. The piece, titled “Fall Splendor,” hangs on a second floor east wall, adjacent to the main entrance to the administrative offices of the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners and the county manager.

On permanent display downstairs is an original oil painting by Las Cruces artist Alice Terry donated to the Doña Ana County Government Center last February for permanent display. The painting, titled ‘Heart of the Problem,’ depicts a dry desert arroyo and represents the artist’s respect for the power of arroyos and the damage they can inflict to property during the summer Monsoon Season inherent to southern New Mexico.

Also on semi-permanent display in the main lobby is one of New Mexico’s most famous painted ponies. Caballo de Las Cruces is covered with more than 2 million tiny, decorative, glass beads. The pony is for sale by the Doña Ana Arts Council, with the proceeds to benefit the historic Rio Grande Theatre. To date, none of the bids for it have met the minimum allowable for sale. The pony will remain on display near the main reception desk of the Doña Ana County Government Center until it changes ownership. Caballo de Las Cruces was designed by local artist Julienne Hadfield. The beading process took more than 4,000 hours to complete by a dedicated group of more than 100 community volunteers. The pony was designed to honor Las Cruces and the surrounding area.

The public is invited to view the student art show, Caballo de Las Cruces, “Fall Splendor” and “Heart of the Problem” at any time during normal county business hours. The official opening of the newest student show will be held this Friday, April 4, 2008, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Many student artists, their families and public-school faculty art teachers will be on hand. Refreshments will be served.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 525-5801.