Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My Fiber visit to Las Cruces, New Mexico in December 2016

In December we visited a couple of weavers in New Mexico as we had a chance to house sit for 3 weeks in a warm climate. Leslie and Steve were once members of the Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Artist Guild in Hancock Michigan but they have since moved to Las Cruces, NM to enjoy warmer weather and an abundance of weaving culture.

While in New Mexico we visited a number of interesting exhibits that I wanted to share with my fellow weavers and fiber artists.

 Old Town Mesilla
First we visited a museum in Old Town Mesilla which had some lovely 20th Century Navajo Rugs.

Woven with Natural fibers.
Chief's robe

natural dye chart

Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
Then on to the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum to see a weaving exhibit. 'Weaving of the Rio Grande'.  Leslie and Steve attended a Chimayo Weaving Workshop at the the Museum in November 2016 the Teacher was Lisa Tryjillo who's 'Flying House' rug is shown below. Both Leslie and Steve completed a lovely sample at this workshop and they hosted Lisa for the workshop at their home.

'Flying House' rug and rug by Lisa's husband on right

close up 'Flying House" by Lisa Tryjillo

I learned an interesting fact about the Churro Sheep at this museum.The Churro sheep was brought to New Mexico by the Spanish explorers. The Churro has become a rare breed as the local Anglo sheep ranchers preferred the Merino sheep because it had more meat and a short kinky wool that was easier to process. So the breeds were crossbred causing a decline in the number of pure Churro Sheep.

woven rug or blanket
Sprang top
 El Paso Museum of Art
Another great Exhibit was in El Paso, TX at the El Paso Museum of Art
Here we saw Wayne Hilton's 'Hermosos Huesos' exhibit which was a fun fibers exhibit.

The exhibit is a vibrant series of calavera catrina (dapper skeletons)  figures entitled Hermosos Huesos (Beautiful Bones) , they were inspired by the prints of the late nineteenth century Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, whose imagery was the key to the initial popularization of the calavera figure in Mexico. Posada's original illustrations were intended to surprise, delight, intrigue and question our concept of afterlife.

Wayne's work uses found items and recycled materials. This exhibit of 13 figures took three years and over five thousand of hours to complete. This exhibit includes larger than life size mixed media sculptures.The detail of Wayne's work was amazing.

close up

Posada's work was meant to poke fun of the Mexican elite who whitened their faces, and attempted to dress in a French manner and deny their own cultural heritage. Since then it has become a beloved image of the Dia de los Muertos celebration with the country's special ability to laugh at death.

'The Butterfly' 84"x 60" x 96"

close up of 'The Butterfly'

 More life size calavera catrina figures from the Hilton exhibit.


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Thanks for sharing!