Authentic Las Cruces Home Decor
Choosing art to display in your home is a very personal thing. You must connect with the subject matter and the style in which it has been created. One more step can deepen that connection between the buyer and the piece of art: knowing something about the artist. We visited several art galleries, large and small, and selected pieces by local artists for your consideration. We even talked to the artists to help you make that more personal connection. If the piece we picked has already been purchased by someone else, never fear. These artists have more creations up their sleeves.
1 | Three-time Las Crucen Marie Dwyer has shown her art in the borderland for years. She first focused on watercolor paintings, but more recently began studying egg tempera with Julie Ford Oliver and found that it fit her style and workspace nicely. The ability to layer the soft colors on a gesso board also made this medium a perfect fit for her. Her piece Two Trees is a lovely example of the delicate colors and lines that may be created with egg tempera…and talent.
Marie explains her choice of subjects in her paintings, “In May of 2014, the M. Phillips Gallery honored me with a show entitled ‘Close to Home,’ which describes my subject matter: Southwestern landscapes, desert weeds, and abandoned buildings all seem to speak to me.”
Two Trees | Egg Tempera | $395 | M. Phillip’s Fine Art Gallery2 | You may confuse Tiago Finato’s richly colored and luminously lit still-life paintings with European works from centuries ago. That’s because his work is the result of training from the age of 12 at the Eteuvina Ramos Viana Art School in Rio Preto, Brazil, which follows the style of 19th century French academies. After graduation, he moved to the United States to earn a BFA at the University of Massachusetts, and now is at NMSU working on his MFA. Tiago also teaches classes at NMSU and at the Las Cruces Museum of Art.
“Teaching and art have been my passion from childhood,” he explains. “I feel privileged to live in this beautiful country which has given me the opportunity to express my art through painting. I hope that the passion I have for art reflects in my work.”
Kachina Palhik Mama | Oil painting | $1,850 | M. Phillip’s Fine Art Gallery3 | As a child, Linda Gendall explored nature with her father, a forest ranger. They would study the natural world while on horseback expeditions, noting the textures, colors, and play of light. Those memories help inspire her art, which she calls “something that comes out of my spirit, out of my soul.”
Her pieces often include a bit of whimsy, as in Persephone’s Gift, with a raven bearing a pomegranate. In other paintings, her ravens bring chile or ornaments.
Linda likes to focus on organic objects like luminous fruit, delicately colored flowers, and, of course, ravens. She is a studio painter who dedicates each afternoon to creating new works. Linda has earned numerous awards for her oil paintings and will be featured this year in International Artist magazine.
Persephone’s Gift | Oil painting | $1,400 | The Cutter Gallery4 | Sylvia Hendrickson’s artistic medium isn’t the norm. She creates her art from gourds, either grown locally by friends or purchased from gourd farmers out of state. Sylvia was inspired to bring the talents she had honed as a painter and woodworker to this genre eight years ago when a friend asked her to cut a gourd, and then, she says, she was hooked.
Working a gourd into a piece of art starts a bit like carving a Halloween pumpkin: you must remove the seeds and fibers from the inside, clean the outside, then focus your attention on exterior design. Sylvia says that anything you can do to a piece of wood, you can do to a gourd: burn in or paint a design or attach decorative items.
Sylvia teaches classes and is happy to share what she has learned with others. Her gourds are also in galleries in Sedona and Silver City.
Fall Bowl | Gourd | $189 | Mesilla Valley Fine Art Gallery5 | Michael Nail always enjoyed drawing while growing up in New Mexico and his subject matter was influenced by the Western movies he watched as a kid. He took a stab at being an art major at Eastern New Mexico University, but, says, “I was too immature and I had to go earn a living instead.” He retired from the City of Las Cruces in 2012 and now has the time to focus on his art. Mike is a self-taught artist who makes use of the Internet to learn from others.
His richly detailed pencil and charcoal drawings often depict Native Americans, wildlife, and Western themes and have been displayed in several local galleries as well as the Las Cruces and Ruidoso art fairs. He recently started working with white charcoal and says, “With pencil you’re drawing the dark. With charcoal, you’re drawing the light. It’s 180 degrees, but amazingly I can get it closer to what I want to draw with the white charcoal.”
The Braid | Charcoal | $400 | Mesilla Valley Fine Art Gallery6 | Deret Roberts was born in Deming, but has been in Las Cruces for nine years and calls it home. He became interested in art while participating in an art club in high school and pursued it further by earning a BFA at NMSU. Deret and his partner, Abbey Carver, opened Art Obscura gallery in 2013 where he also has his studio. Abbey runs Brazito Farms, focusing on organic produce, and they support each other with their endeavors, both artistic and agricultural.
He commonly paints human figures in oils, creating a soft, skin-line quality. He says his artwork has always been an expression and investigation of his inner dialogue and usually deals with some aspect of the human psyche.
In Orbit | Oil and gold leaf on panel | $750 | Art Obscura7 | When Mike Shalett first moved to Las Cruces, he expressed his art as a photographer. His more recent exploration of art takes a decidedly different tack: working used lariats into bowls.
Mike was inspired by another artist he had seen several years ago at the Farmers’ and Crafts Market. Intrigued, he discovered where he could buy the softer, more pliable ropes that had been used by rodeo contestants, but retired before they could fray or break during competition. He shapes them into bowls of various colors and shapes, finishing them off with a distinctive knot on the rope as well as an arrowhead that bears his signature.
Recycled Lariat Baskets | $50 – $80 | Mesilla Valley Fine Art Gallery8 | Art lovers know Jim Turrentine as the owner of the Big Picture Digital Image Lab and The Gallery at Big Picture. Artists and others know him as an expert in color-matched fine art reproductions and photo restorations of vintage photos. What you may not know is that he is also a photographer whose work is on display at his gallery.
After leaving Las Cruces for Colorado in 1967, he returned in 2002 and decided to follow his artistic leanings. Jim finds himself drawn to photograph something he dismissed in his younger days: cactus. “Some of the most extraordinary flowers occur in, of all places, the desert,” he explains. “A cactus may sit in dry meditation for 364 days then suddenly the most exotic flower imaginable appears for a brief period, sometimes lasting only a few hours. Their beauty competes with the rarest of tropical blooms and is often missed due to their fleeting emergence.”
Texas Rainbow | Archival Pigment Print on Canvas | $450 | The Gallery at Big Picture
3206 Harrelson St.
The Gallery at Big Picture
311 N. Main Street
M. Phillip’s Fine Art Gallery
221 N. Main Street
The Cutter Gallery
2640 El Paseo Rd.
Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery
2470A Calle de Guadalupe, Mesilla