About Kathleen Albers

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So far Kathleen Albers has created 49 blog entries.

Here’s an example of true arts community spirit.

Julie Ford Oliver is a nationally-known oil painter, workshop leader and mentor to many emerging artists in the Las Cruces area.  In 2018, a DAAC staff member asked Julie if she would give a workshop on her unique  “fracturing” method at the DAAC Arts & Cultural Center.

It was our hope that we could establish an “Arts Academy” with Julie and other local teaching artists to instruct serious art students near and far – a possible economic driver for our economy and a way to support local artists.  Of possible interest to painters in other parts of the country, we thought the gorgeous Las Cruces weather in late January,  the charm of our beautiful Mesilla Valley and Julie’s skill as an instuctor were a winning combination.

Not only did Julie agree to teach a workshop, but she wanted to teach two, a month apart.  In addition, she wanted the fees collected from the workshop to be her “gift” to the Arts Council and wished us sucess in our new home at the Arts and Cultural Center.  Thank you, Julie.  Your generosity is an inspiration.


Explore ways you can give.

Make a meaningful and lasting investment in the arts by becoming a renewing member of the Arts Council.  Each and every donation is important to building a community where the are accessible to everyone.

Click HERE for more information on membership levels and sponsorship opportunities.


Las Cruces Creative Economy

Economic development, particularly the “creative economy” is an important part of the Dona Ana Arts Council’s mission.  Supporting local artists in music, dance, film, theatre, visual arts and education keeps the wheels of the creative economy growing.

To find out more about how the Arts Council works with other groups around the state of New Mexico to bolster the creative economy, please see the Creative New Mexico website HERE,  and New Mexico Arts programs HERE


Painting by Las Cruces artist, Carolyn Bunch.


The 49th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire Goes Virtual

The 49th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire Goes Virtual


Hear Ye! Hear Ye!  the 49th annual renaissance artsfaire, laid siege by the covid plague, will now be a virtual event on the 7th of november, 2020.    The faire shall offer many festivities, yet at a safe social distance on thy computer contraption.  We hath set eyes on a glorious 50th faire next year  in  november 2021.  It would please us greatly if you would stay thee watchful for more edicts from the Queen.  Huzzah!

Queen Sherry and Court

Queen Sherry and Court


Announcement!  The 49 Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire, due to the COVID pandemic, will be a virtual event on November 7, 2020.  Many fun activities will be offered, but at a safe social distance from your computer.  We are looking forward to a spectacular 50th Faire next year in November 2021.  Please watch for more details on how to participate.  Hooray!

Renaissance… rebirth…  It seems totally appropriate that, after all of the shutting down we have done and will yet do in 2020, there will be a 50th anniversary Renaissance ArtsFaire next year in 2021 that will be a spectacular “rebirth” in many ways.  We at the Doña Ana Arts Council are looking forward to that event being celebratory and inclusive and memorable on a large scale.  However, in the year 2020, this year, our iconic event will be going on-line, like so much else.

Greg Smith, Executive Director of the Doña Ana Arts Council, the non-profit organization that produces the Renaissance ArtsFaire, summed up the organization’s decision to go virtual:  “We hope that good health and safety will be reasonable expectations by this November, but we know that a “normal RenFaire” will simply be impossible this year.”   Continued Smith, “In light of all that we are dealing with in 2020, the 49th Renaissance ArtsFaire will be online on Saturday, November 7.   More details will be announced in the coming months, and we ask the public to please join us “virtually” that day.”


Included in what is planned for November 7 are a Renaissance costume contest to be judged by the royal court, videos of jousting and other medieval and renaissance activities, and attention on art and costumes from the Americas over the past 500 years.  The crowning event will be the live, on-line auction of several great works of art including drivable art on wheels, appropriately named “Baby, You Can Drive My Art!”.

Smith concludes his announcement by saying, “ So, please prepare your costume, be ready to learn more about what was happening 500 years ago, keep your eyes open to art and knowledge, and plan to join the Doña Ana Arts Council for a very different Renaissance ArtsFaire on November 7, 2020.”

The Renaissance ArtsFaire is an annual fundraising event produced by the Doña Ana Arts Council since 1971.  The Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a community where the arts thrive for everyone.  In addition to art festivals, the non-profit offers arts education for children, workshops and seminars for adults, and operates an art gallery featuring local artists.

The Doña Ana Arts Council office and Arts & Cultural Center is located at 1740 Calle de Mercado in Mesilla, New Mexico.   The mailing address is PO Box 1721, Las Cruces, NM 88004.  For more information, please visit www.daarts.org or call the DAAC office at (575) 523-6403.


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Silent Auction through July 31st on Daphne Wirthlin’s donated giclee”Reach the Moon”

Bids accepted through July 31st  

Daphne Wirthlin donated this lovely artwork to the Arts Council to help us raise funds for our arts education programs. Thank you, Daphne, for your generous gift.

Please stop in the gallery, call or email with your bid on this beautiful 22″ X 22″ giclee titled Reach the Moon.

Bid increments are  only $5.   Check the DAAC Facebook HERE to see what the current bid is.



The Incredible Solar System by Liliana, age 7: Dawn of Discovery student challenge extended to 8/31/20

Las Cruces Space Festival Art Show, Dawn of Discovery Student Challenge

The Incredible Solar System by Liliana, age 7

DAAC is collaborating with the Las Cruces Space Festival on the “Dawn of Discovery” art show, a multi-media exhibit featuring international and local artists portraying the beauty of the Universe and the excitement of space exploration with sculptures, paintings, astrophotography, and much more. The online gallery features over 70 images of artwork created by 43 artists and will be available until the Fall of 2020.  DAAC invites grades 3 through 12 students to choose their favorite image and write a short response to the artist, telling them what they appreciate about the work.  DAAC will also accept space-themed artwork from students to be displayed on the Las Cruces Space Festival website as well as the DAAC website.  Students may submit responses and art until August 31, 2020.  All responses should be sent to manager@daarts.org.  Additional information may be found at https://lcspacefestival.com/gallery/.


New extended gallery hours on “Second Saturdays”

DAAC Announces New “Second Saturday” Extended Gallery Hours from 12 noon to 7 pm starting on Saturday, July 11, 2020.

In July, the featured artist is Daphne Wirthlin. Ms. Wirthlin’s work will be available for viewing during regular gallery hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, in addition to 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 11.

DAAC asks all visitors to the gallery to maintain 6’ social distance between each other, wear a mask, and use provided hand sanitizer.

The Doña Ana Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a community where the arts thrive throughout the greater Las Cruces area. The DAAC offices and adjacent Arts & Cultural Center are located at 1740 Calle de Mercado in Mesilla, New Mexico. The mailing address is PO Box 1721, Las Cruces, NM 88004. For more information, go to www.daarts.org or call the DAAC office at (575) 523-6403.


Free online classes in July/August 2020

DAAC Announces Two Free Art Series in July


In July, the theme is “East meets West” for the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC).  Two on-line art history series will be offered free of charge for all community members who register on the DAAC website.  While many COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifting, DAAC organizers know it is important to continue free on-line opportunities for those who wish to stay at home.  These “Feed Your Mind” classes are a gift from DAAC and art historians Kathleen Key and Nicholas Dahle, both instructors at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program.


Nicholas Dahle will teach an eight-week series on “Buddhist Art:  The Art of Enlightenment” via Zoom on Monday evenings from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. starting July 6 and ending August 24, 2020.   There is no charge, but students must register at www.daarts.org/classes-workshops/ .  Registered students will receive a Zoom invitation prior to the first class.

According to the “Buddhist Art” course description:  For more than 2000 years, Buddhism has spread throughout Asia and inspired some its greatest works of art. Buddhist art was transformed by the many cultures who adopted it, creating a fantastic array of visual iconography. Class one: India and Pakistan; class two: the Himalayas; class three: China; class four: China continued; class five: Korea and Mongolia; class six: Japan; class seven Japan continued; class eight; Southeast Asia.

The other July course is all about art of the West, primarily European and American.  “Twentieth Century Art” is a five-session series presented by Kathleen Key via Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.; class dates are July 7, 9, 14, 16 and 21, 2020.   According to Key, “The 20th century is 100 years of great artists and great art work!  Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cindy Sherman, Donald Judd, Maya Lin, Judy Chicago and many more phenomenal artists. Come join us for an overview of 20th century art, five lectures of 90 minutes. Join us for fun, stimulating and lively art and discussion!”  There is no charge, but students must register at www.daarts.org/classes-workshops/ .  Registered students will receive a Zoom invitation prior to the first class.

The Doña Ana Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a community where the arts thrive.  The DAAC offices and adjacent Arts & Cultural Center are located at 1740 Calle de Mercado in Mesilla, New Mexico.   The mailing address is PO Box 1721, Las Cruces, NM 88004.  For more information, go to www.daarts.org or call the DAAC office at (575) 523-6403.



The Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) is conducting a call for artists residing in southern New Mexico and El Paso to submit work for a juried online exhibit titled Metaphor for a Virus, Response to the Current Global Pandemic.  We will start accepting and jurying submissions on May 15, 2020, and will continue accepting entries until the end of the year.  The online gallery will be hosted throughout 2020 on the DAAC web page; to see the Metaphor for a Virus gallery, click HERE

Submission details:  For an entry fee of $5, artists may submit up to three digital images between May 15 and December 31, 2020. The entry fee may be paid to DAAC via check (mail to PO Box 1721, Las Cruces, NM 88004) or credit card (pay the entry fee as a “donation” HERE  .

Digital submissions may be sent via email to events@daarts.org.  All images must reflect original work, and the artist must own the copyright. Please include, title, dimensions, medium, and a short bio or statement (1 paragraph). Work may be listed for sale, with all sales transactions exclusively between the artist and buyer.  Artists are asked to please consider a 20% donation to DAAC on all exhibition sales.

Digital Image Requirements: JPEG, 72 DPI, 1200 pixels on the long side.  Max size is 1MB.

For additional information, call Karen Conley at 314-704-9445 or e-mail her at manager@daarts.org.


DAAC Executive Director, Gregory Z. Smith, summarized the inspiration for this exhibit with the following statement: “Sometimes the changes we see in our lives are clearest with 20/20 hindsight. This year, coincidentally the year 2020, includes changes that we are painfully conscious of as they occur. Certainly, we will see more when we look back on this time from some point in the future; still, the experience now is quite profound.”

Smith continued, “Metaphor for a Virus is one of the ways Doña Ana Arts Council is seeking to make the arts a positive part of what we are experiencing.  Let us find knowledge, growth, and art with which to share what we are seeing.  Let us be more for what we have seen and what we have survived.”

According to DAAC Program Manager and exhibit organizer, Karen Conley, “At some point, we hope to organize a live show. As you can imagine, there are other galleries and art organizations across the nation and the world wrestling with how to keep moving forward with shows and promoting artists.”

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