Art at the 12th Annual Gila River Festival

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Saturday, September 24. FREE, Self-guided tour.

Downtown Silver City

red_dotDowntown Silver City art galleries will feature art inspired by the Gila River for this self-guided tour.  Participating galleries include Blue Dome Gallery, Copper Quail Gallery, Hutchings Fine Art, Leyba & Ingalls Arts, Lois Duffy Studio, Molly Ramolla Arts, Moonstruck Art Gallery, Ravensong Arts, Soul River, Syzygy Tile, The Place at the Palace, Tree Spirit Gallery, Wild West Weaving, and Zoe’s Gallery. More info on downtown galleries at

And don’t miss the special Gila River Art Exhibit at the Murray Ryan Visitors Center. 



Panel Discussion with Lydia Huerta, Hakim Bellamy, Colin Diles Hazelbaker, Michael Berman

Friday, September 23; 2:45–3:45 p.m. Global Resource Center, WNMU. FREE.

What motivates people to care about conservation and become careful stewards of nature? Often it’s the way environmental issues are framed and discussed, either as abstract concepts separate from us, or as issues that profoundly touch our daily lives. Where do the arts and environmental activism intersect? With heartfelt and artful poems, stories, artwork, films, music, and photos, artists can convey in a heartbeat what environmentalists often struggle to explain in complex policy statements.

Addressing an audience of international conservationists in 1968, Senegalese forestry engineer Baba Dioum said, “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” It often falls to artists to teach us to love, understand, and conserve.

Join this discussion of the relationship between art and conservation with four panelists: WNMU Assistant Professor of Spanish and Cultural Studies Lydia Huerta, Inaugural Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy, musician/composer/producer Colin Diles Hazelbaker, and Guggenheim Fellow landscape photographer Michael Berman.



Collaborative Performance. 4:00–5:30 p.m.

Fine Arts Center Theater, WNMU. FREE.

composite forestThe forest that grows along the Gila River demonstrates tremendous capacity for both regeneration and destruction. Humans are unable to recreate the complexity or beauty of this forest, but we have the power to significantly alter and degrade it.

An installation co-created by a team of partners will combine sculpture, performance, song, spoken word, and sounds to explore the processes associated with the Gila’s riparian forest and to celebrate its beauty. Th is performance will demonstrate the dynamic relationships between the Gila River and people— people who have the power to protect or degrade this river ecosystem.

Once a forest on stage is created from cloth, recycled materials and other objects, the audience will be invited to walk among the trees.

Artistic Director: Ann Marie Elder, Associate Professor, WNMU; Technical Director: Patrick Rogers; Lighting Designer/Artistic Creator: Tasha Cooper; Artistic Creator/WNMU Staff : Cindy Medrano; Students of Aldo Leopold Charter School and Western New Mexico University;

In collaboration with: Kathy Whiteman, Assistant Professor of Biology and Outdoor Leadership Studies, WNMU, and Martha Cooper, Th e Nature Conservancy’s Southwest NM Field Representative.


San Vicente Artists will hold a dual show September 23-25 at the Artist Lair Gallery in the old Elk’s Club in Silver City. Artists are welcome to show in either or both shows for a fee of $25 (up to 8 entries, four per show). Categories are painting, drawing, photography and 3-D art with ribbons and/or cash prizes in each category. Best of each show will also be awarded from the first place winners and a People’s Choice winner will be chosen by the public. The judge for the show will be Rita Sherwood, a well-known Silver City artist and owner of the Place Gallery on Texas Street. Entries will be accepted on September 22 from 10-2. For information, call 534-0569.