Archive for October, 2007
A new exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum gives visitors an inside look at a centuries-old cowboy culture in France.
“Gardians of the Camargue: The French Buckaroo Tradition” is now open at the Museum in Las Cruces and will be on display through March 9, 2008. This traveling exhibit features 69 framed photographs and artifacts depicting the culture of the Gardians of the Camargue.
“We are not so far removed from people of other cultures,” said Curator Lorraine Rawls. “We have threads that connect us across lands and oceans — some through conjoined histories, some through poetry and music, and some through our passion for horses.”
In a small area of France called the Camargue, along the Mediterranean at the mouth of the Rhone, there are cowboys not unlike our own. They are called gardians. The Brotherhood of the Gardians dates back to 1512 and centers on century-old traditions. In 1905, this culture was revived by a Frenchman named Folo de Baroncelli, a writer and rancher living in the Camargue. Baroncelli was inspired by Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show when he saw the show in Paris.
The exhibit features the black-and-white photography of Kevin Martini-Fuller, the color photography of Rawls, the interpretive paintings of Karen Foster-Wells, along with tools and clothing unique to the Camargue region.
For more information contact Craig Massey at (575) 522-4100.
by Bianca L. Granado
Well-known Mexican singer Ana Barbara will headline this year’s Spectacular Concert as part of the 2007 International Mariachi Conference in Las Cruces, NM.
The popular singer will take the stage along with Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, Mariachi Cobre, Mariachi Los Arrieros, and about 750 students who will also be showcasing their talents.
The International Mariachi Conference educates students from all over the nation on the skills involved in mariachi music and folklorico dance. The conference begins on Wednesday, Nov. 7 with student workshops in mariachi music, voice and folkloric dance.
Other highlights of the International Conference include a two-day parque festival and a Sunday Mariachi Mass. The two-day parque festival taking place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11 at Young Park offers family entertainment, music, dancing, arts and crafts, and traditional New Mexican food.
The Spectacular Concert begins at 7:30 pm on Saturday Nov. 10. Tickets for the spectacular concert are available at www.ticketmaster.com and by calling the Pan American Center ticket office at 575-646-1420.
For more information contact the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference office at 505-525-1735 or by visiting www.lascrucesmariachi.org
Harvest Cooking Class. November 6, 2-4 p.m.
Carol Koenig has some creative recipes featuring eggs, winter squash and apples. Pre-registration is required. $20
Fall Lecture Series. November 8, 7 p.m.
“The Challenges of a Safe American Food Supply.”
Dr. Billy Dictson, the director of the Office of Biosecurity in the NMSU College of Agriculture, will discuss his work in ensuring the safety of N.M. fields and America’s food supply. Free.
Recording Cherished Memories: A NM Centennial Oral History Workshop. November 10, 9-4 p.m.
Learn what oral history is, find out how to research and conduct an interview. Dr. Jon Hunner, the Director of Public History at NMSU, is our instructor. The workshop is sponsored by the museum and the Mesilla Valley Centennial Committee.
Pre-registration is required. $25 for adults. $15 for students and seniors.
Colcha Embroidery. November, 13-14, 10 a.m.- noon.
Learn this traditional craft and make holiday ornaments that you can enjoy for years to come. No prior experience is required. Please bring your own scissors. Other materials are provided. Pre-registration is required for this two day workshop. $25.
New Exhibit: Gardians of the Camargue: The French Buckaroo Tradition
The exhibition runs from October 19, 2007 to March 10, 2008 and features 69 framed photographs and artifacts depicting the “cowboys” of southern France. The photographs and artwork capture this unique horse culture and the essence of the people and places that surround it. Lorraine Rawls, the creator of the exhibit and the author of Wild Provence, will speak about her work on November 15 from 1-3 p.m. A book signing will follow from 3-5 p.m.
Centennial Lecture. November 16, 7 p.m.
Archeologist and historian Pat Beckett will talk about his research and 1990 booklet on the Native American community of Tortugas in Las Cruces. The lecture is part of the Mesilla Valley Centennial events leading up to the Centennial of New Mexico’s statehood in 2012. Free.
Time Travel by Lantern Light. December 6-8, 6-9 p.m.
Take a trip through time and visit people from New Mexico’s past. Then stay and enjoy music and other good ol’ fashioned fun. Tours are from 6- 8 p.m. and are outside so please dress warmly.
For more information or to register for a workshop, please call (575) 522-4100.
After years of planning, researching and seeking funding, the Historic Green Bridge has been moved and is settled in at its new home
The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is planning a large celebration on Oct. 20 to welcome the facility’s newest structure. A ceremony and ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m. will kick off an afternoon-long schedule of activities that includes a vintage cars and trucks on display, refreshments and music by the Deming Fusiliers.
Also planned is a panel discussion of historic roads and bridges, scheduled for 3 p.m. in the museum’s theater.
“This exciting preservation project is an important step in the development of our exterior exhibits,” Museum Director Mark Santiago said of the arrival of the bridge. “Physically, as well as metaphorically, the bridge has brought people from the past to the future.”
Listed on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties in 1997, the bridge was identified in a 1987 bridge survey as the oldest and longest Pratt through-truss bridge with pinned connections in New Mexico, the second-oldest surviving highway bridge in the state, and the state’s oldest steel highway bridge. The structure is 133 feet long and 16 feet wide.
The bridge is a dramatic addition to the Museum and will provide pedestrian access across the Tortugas Arroyo and will be a centerpiece in our effort to showcase the history and importance of rural transportation in New Mexico.
The history of the bridge is long and colorful. From 1902 to 1944, the structure was one span of a three-span bridge that reached across the Pecos River east of Roswell. After a series of floods threatened the structure in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the bridge was moved 47 miles west near Picacho, N.M. in Lincoln County in 1944 where it delivered people across the Rio Hondo.
The new Rio Hondo Bridge at Picacho was cleaned, re-decked with wood and asphalt, and painted graphite green, leading local residents to refer to it simply as the “Green Bridge.” It remained in use until 1989 when it was fenced off and declared a historic structure. The rusted bridge had fallen into disrepair in recent years.
Ralph Dunlap, a member of the Lincoln County Commission at the time, and an early board member of the Museum, was influential in beginning the process of the bridge’s move to a place where it could be preserved. Lincoln County agreed to release the bridge to the Museum several years ago, but the historic structure wasn’t moved until this past summer.
ESA Construction of Albuquerque and El Paso dismantled the bridge, moved it, removed the old paint, repainted it and reassembled it across the Tortugas Arroyo.
“The bridge served a large area and it served the people well,” said Dunlap. “I’m really happy that it’s going to be preserved and used again. I had almost given up, but Cameron (Saffell, the Museum’s Curator of History) did a good job and didn’t give up. He and a lot of other people worked hard to make this happen.”
The panel discussion on historic roads and bridges will feature the following speakers:
Dr. Eric DeLony is the retired chief and principal architect for the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. Now living in Santa Fe, today he serves as a consultant on engineering and industrial heritage. He is the author of Landmark American Bridges and is one of the nation’s leading authorities on historic steel and covered bridges. During the bridge opening activities he will speak to the condition of historic bridges nationwide and in New Mexico.
Dr. David Kammer is a contract historian who specializes in architectural and cultural history. Noted for his research on Route 66, Kammer wrote the 1997 Historic Bridges of New Mexico nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. At the presentation he will address the expansion of New Mexico’s road and highway network.
John Murphey is the architectural historian for the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division. His duties include overseeing the nomination and listing of properties to the State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places. He has been involved with several historic trail and highway surveys in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico, and the Southwest, including Route 66 and the Old Spanish Trail. For the panel he will be speaking about New Mexico’s historic bridges.
Cameron L. Saffell has been curator of history at the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum since 1999. There, he develops the research behind all the museum’s exhibits, talks, and public programs. He has thoroughly researched the background of the Historic Green Bridge in preparation for its relocation from Lincoln County to the museum campus and served as the project manager for the disassembly and restoration work. Saffell will lead the roundtable discussion during the opening activities and will briefly review the history of the Green Bridge.
Following the brief individual presentations, the panelists will have an open discussion with each other and the audience about the history and heritage of roads and bridges in New Mexico and the U.S.
Admission to the afternoon events on Oct. 20 is free. For more information, please call (575) 522-4100.
Noted Las Cruces artist Anthony Pennock is teaming with a group of New Mexico State University students to create a mural for the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum’s Main Gallery.
Known mainly for his water tank murals in the city, Pennock created scenes for the museum’s mural that focus on early Native American agriculture in New Mexico. A theater set design class from New Mexico State University will paint Pennock’s design.
The mural, which is 69 feet long and 10 feet tall, includes five vignettes depicting people of the Mogollon, Mimbres and Ancestral Puebloan Indian cultures planting corn, cultivating and irrigating crops, processing food and ending with a scene showing the arrival of the first Spanish colonists.
The students will begin painting the mural on Oct. 3 and the project is expected to take at least a month.
The mural is part of a new look in the Main Gallery. Located in the museum’s Bruce King Building, the 15,200-square-foot gallery is undergoing dramatic changes that feature colorful new exhibits along with the mural. The exhibits will allow visitors who come to the museum this winter to become immersed in a historical environment.
The winding mural brings visitors around a re-created Mogollon pit house and takes them to a new four-part exhibit called Farm Life in New Mexico: Then & Now. The four components include Home Sweet Home, Moving Around, On the Farm, and Going to Town.
Home Sweet Home is a colorful, nostalgic “slice of life” that includes a cozy, two-room floor plan featuring a kitchen and parlor created to look like the inside of a New Mexico home, circa 1920-30. A walkway between the rooms gets visitors close to the objects and provides the feeling of actually walking through the home.
“Moving Around” focuses on transportation in rural New Mexico and includes a façade of a railroad depot, complete with railroad artifacts, and several wagons and carriages. “On the Farm” features a tool shed and various farm implements, while “Going to Town” focuses on community life and includes a mercantile and a post office display.
The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for children ages 5 to 17.
For more information contact, Craig Massey at 505-522-4100 ext. 101.
by Bianca L. Granado
From volcanoes to the Spanish conquistadores’ discovery of a new land to what is today the City of Las Cruces, the 29 million year history of the area will be examined at the Branigan Cultural Center’s new permanent exhibit “A History of Las Cruces.”
The exhibit is scheduled to open in conjunction with the City’s centennial celebration of incorporation on Friday, Nov. 16.
“The exhibit is an interpretive peek into the City’s history that will include old photographs, historic items, and interactive panels that help tell the story of Las Cruces,” said Garland Courts, Director of the Branigan Cultural Center.
According to Courts, the valley began to draw a rich confluence of cultures that started with the first hunter-gatherers and continued to the Spanish conquistadors, Mexicans and Americans.
Using personal chronicles from numerous families and individuals that contributed to the formation of the City, the Branigan Cultural Center was able to weave the story of Las Cruces for this exhibit.
The Branigan Cultural Center features exhibits of art, culture, regional history, furniture and artifacts of the region. The center is located at 501 N. Main Street on the north end of the Downtown Mall.