Do you want to know what’s going on at DAAC?

Artswrap, our monthly electronic newsletter, has all the information you’ll need about upcoming classes, gallery exhibits, call for artists, and everything happening at the Dona Ana Arts Council.

If you’d like to receive the Arts Council’s e-newsletter each month, please scroll to the bottom of the Homepage and click “Subscribe to Newsletter”.   Click below to read the September 2020 issue.  Happy reading!

September 2020


Artist Relief Fund Announced

News of the ill effects of the pandemic have quite rightfully focused mostly on the threats to life and physical health.  However, we know that personal finances have also been threatened for a number of people.  Across the country, perhaps the world, arts organizations have started artist relief funds because too many of our artists have limited resources, even in the best of times, and many artists have been especially impacted by this health crisis.


Toward that end, an anonymous local patron of the arts has made a very generous offer, and the Doña Ana Arts Council has accepted it.  Each month until the end of 2020, this patron will invest in our community through the arts by giving at least $200 to be distributed as artist relief.  Other patrons are challenged to match that $200.  If the total of additional contributions to the fund exceed $200 in any one month, the original patron is willing to match those additional contributions up to $500.  Thus, at a minimum, the Arts Council will have $1,000 to distribute as relief grants to artists between now and January 1, 2021.


However, due to the matching challenge, DAAC could have as much as $5,000 or more to distribute during that time.  We will, of course, be monitoring how this works for us and for the artists who benefit; so, even without the ongoing matching provision, if it seems to be working and there is Board of Directors approval, we may choose to continue the fund into 2021.


Artists who would like to benefit will need to be listed in our Arts Directory to qualify, and they will need to fill out an application.  Then, depending on the status of the fund, two or more $100 grants will be made to those who apply each month.  We will keep anonymous the names of the applicants and recipients, but we do hope that there will be affirmations of the benefits that can be made public.


If in any month there are more applicants than there are funds available, the DAAC staff will determine, based on the applications submitted, which artists will receive the available funds that month.  New applications will be required each month, and recipients will be asked to refrain from applying again once they have received one relief grant.


In order to ensure the funds are directed to the Artist Relief Fund, we ask that patrons make that clear in the memo section on checks or in communication with us.  Any checks or other investments made without that communication will be assumed to be intended for the Doña Ana Arts Council general operating funds.


We extend our sincere gratitude to the original patron donor, and we hope others will be similarly inspired.


Promoting Art Series Returns via Zoom on Friday 8/28/20

Promoting Art Series – Returns  Correction:  August 28th  (not the 27th as earlier stated)
The Promoting Art Series returns on August 28, 2020, at noon. The topic of discussion will be the Arts Directory, a new initiative at DAAC, and a follow-up to last year’s Focus Group.  We are looking forward to valuable feedback from the artist community on what expectations they have of DAAC and how we can work together to promote art in the Mesilla Valley.
We are also looking for topics and artists or individuals that work in the arts to be speakers over the next 12 months.
This event will be conducted through ZOOM until the state revises the current restrictions on gatherings. If you plan on attending, RSVP to Karen Conley at or call (575) 523-6403. We will provide you the meeting ID and password. We can accommodate 100 people per ZOOM session.  If there is enough interest, we will schedule several sessions.  The Promoting Arts Series talks are free and open to the public.
Pictured here is Noel Sandino, DAAC’s August 2020 Artist of the Month


Prospectus #260
Acclaimed Artist Series
Purchase Initiative
Calling all Southwest Artists and Galleries located in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.
The objective of the 2020 Acclaimed Artist Purchase Initiative is to diversify the state’s public art collection by purchasing artwork from artists in all stages of their careers. All media in all genres, suitable for both interior and exterior display, will be considered for purchase. Artwork must be durable, permanent, low-maintenance and in compliance with ADA guidelines upon installation.
Seeking artwork ready for purchase in the $20,000 – $40,000 price range, all-inclusive.
DEADLINE: September 30, 2020
Prospectus #254
US Native American and Indigenous Artists Purchase Initiative
New Mexico Arts has extended the deadline for the US Native American and Indigenous Artists Initiative. The Project is open to Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native artists who reside in the United States as well as galleries in the United States, who sell the work of Native Artists. Galleries may submit qualifications on behalf of any artist represented by the gallery, regardless of the artist’s residency, so long as the artist identifies as a member of a Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native tribe or community.
All visual arts media in all genres, suitable for interior or exterior display, will be considered for purchase. Project amounts are $1,000-$50,000 all-inclusive.
DEADLINE: August 31, 2020.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis we would like to ensure that as many artists as possible are able to submit to this call for artists
Josie Valdez
Mesalands Community College
Prospectus #259
Devasthali Hall
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
Commission Project
New Mexico Arts and the Local Selection Committee at New Mexico State University (NMSU) seek an artist or artist team to create a site-specific commission project for an exterior landscaped location near the new Art Building Devasthali Hall on the main campus of NMSU in Las Cruces.
The space invites the opportunity to create a connection point and unifying location for multiple university disciplines through an environment where students, faculty, staff, and visitors to NMSU may gather. Projects that engage the natural environment, the exterior architecture, and use the grounds to create a sense of place are encouraged.
Professional artists working in the United States and demonstrating a level of experience that is commensurate with the project scope and budget will be invited to submit qualifications to this opportunity.
Artists are encouraged to explore conceptual designs inspired by the landscape, landscape architecture, environmental art, placemaking and monumental art. A total of $190,500 is available for the project inclusive of all costs, taxes and fees.
DEADLINE: August 3, 2020.
Devasthali Hall
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
The Art in Public Places program enriches New Mexico’s public spaces through an innovative and diverse public art collection.
To preserve, enhance, and develop the arts in New Mexico through partnerships, public awareness, and education, and to enrich the quality
of life for present and future generations.
DCA Logo
New M

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 or call the DAAC office at (575) 523-6403.


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New Arts Directory!

Great news!  the new on-line Arts Directory is live and in “test mode”.  Please bear with us as we complete the database of over 500 names.

If you would like to be listed in the directory, or would like to correct/update information that is already there, please email and put “Arts Directory” in the title of your email.

It is free to have a basic listing, however, artists who are members of the Doña Ana Arts Council receive enhanced listing options.  To find out more, please visit Join/Renew.

You may access the Arts Directory from the homepage of this website, or directly at


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  Additional information may be found at


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 or call the DAAC office at (575) 523-6403.

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