Cultcha in Cruces – another virtual tour chapter

For a small city, Las Cruces is rich with various visual arts.  (I’ll do a separate post on other cultural aspects later)

One thing I’ve noticed is the large amount of public art and murals of all types.  Tony Pennington is well known for his water tank scenes, but other murals as well.

Las Cruces-Pennock water tank mts-f Tony Pennock mural downtown-f

mural-dona ana fields2-f

gold shop and signs-f

Alameda district-desert wall mural-f

mural-car music-f

Even the trailer parks get into the act. mural-trailer park wall1-f

mesquite neighborhood-pocket park wall-fPublicly sponsored art celebrating the city’s history….Mesquite neighborhood-tile mosaic corner-f

Also in 3D:  SONY DSC Las Cruces-Espina corner palm park-f

Or just people decorating their own homes and businesses, and making their statements about the environment and their beliefs.  Alameda district-Rio Grande mural1-f  Alameda district-painted gates miranda-f  mural-sunflower fence-f  139 san pedro-side guadalupe-f


This being America, there is of course plenty of grafitti art.  I’ve gotten to know several of the local young street artists, who are also displaying in shows and galleries.

WEAD-interior curve-f WEAD-Mary and Jess paintings-f Scenes inside West End Art Depot (WE-AD) coop, with work by Chaves  Smith (blue painting) and Jess Reinhard (large pink painting), who are both in my personal collection.  Picacho corridor-sick west sky2-f  SONY DSC   mural-turquoise graffiti2-f Alameda district-art yard grafitti-f This last is the clubhouse across from Alma d’Arte, a charter school for the arts in the old Alameda district near my home.  The Art Museum hosted the graduating seniors in the University art degree program, including this fashion designer who displayed both concept paintings and her nature-inspired dresses.

animal dresses-e  I’m enjoying mentoring some other art students, like Micaela Duarte, who learn how to do the artwork but get no training in the business of art.  Micaela Duarte-Your Desire is Irrelevant-collage-f

Street art literally comes to town with the annual chalk art contest on Main Street downtown. Fun for all ages and teams.   Las Cruces-street art-f

Plenty of yard art, some professional but often just those a bit out there feeling the creative spirit move them.  san pedro junk house display-f  stone maze garden-f  mesquite neighborhood-yard art moon-f  before I die sign-f rokoko at sunset-f  mitch amy rokoko2-fOne of my favorite galleries, Rokoko, with artist/owners Mitch and (yes that’s the spelling).

I have definitely felt the city’s influence on me artistically as I journey around town.  If I can borrow one of my Marine expressions, it is a “target-rich” environment.  I’ll leave you with this sandwich board sign from my neighborhood BBQ joint, which became an abstract work of art after the recent raindrops hit.

rib joint sign-f


5 thoughts on “Cultcha in Cruces – another virtual tour chapter

  1. I have wanted those palm trees for so long now. And, why is that BEFORE I DIE chalk board empty? I love this idea….saw the original in a youtube video I believe. Great pix as always.

  2. Amazing stuff Dave, thanks for the pics. And your trip away sounded great, and refreshing, yes your mate’s place looks very ordinary… not :-]

  3. So much colourful public art there Dave….very interesting!

  4. @Nolan – I too wanted to bring those palm trees home with me! Rokoko gallery was still a building site when I was there … I remember cycling past and noting one of my favorite shades of green 🙂 Looks like a fantastic space. Your photo of the beautiful adobe in Mesquite with the 4 blue windows and Virgin of Guadalupe is almost identical to the one I took of it. And Jess Reinhart – one of my favorite LC artists – I’m still kicking myself for not buying one of his works when I had the chance 😦 but glad to see he’s still going strong. Great overview Dave.

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