Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hanging Out in Roswell: The Roswell Museum & Art Center

ROSWELL, NM--Yesterday while The Artist Ken Saville was doing a workshop for teachers here in Roswell, I decided to check out the local museum. Roswell actually has two, in addition to several UFO museums. I don't really care about the UFO thing, so I went over to the Roswell Museum & Art Center. However if you want a virtual tour of the Roswell UFO Museum, feel free to follow your alien whim.

Don't underestimate Roswell. Their museum is wonderful! I loved the artwork, and the re-creation of Robert Goddard's workshop is totally fascinating. It really took me inside the joy of his experiments. I sort of felt like a kid again looking at how he solved problems nobody had ever encountered before. And he did it with the basic kinds of solutions you would find in an elementary plumbing class. Even rocket retrieval had to be solved with "toy" parachutes popping out of nosecones...and this was about 1935.

But I really spent a lot of time in the Art Center. It featured, of course, the works of Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth who lived close-by in the Hondo valley community of San Patricio. Just beautiful work. I was particularly impressed with Henriette Wyeth, whose "Bella" captivated me with the subtleties of her existential beauty.

Georgia O'Keeffe's "Ram's Skull with Brown Leaves" is worth the trip here all by itself. And then there is the original furniture of this place commissioned by the WPA. I loved it.

The dominating art piece of the museum has to be Luis Jimenez' "End of the Trail With Electric Sunset." I love his work anyway, and this piece takes advantage of the properties the hollow resin by lighting upthe base as well as the red eyes.

I should also mention their Artist-in-Residence program. Jimenez stayed here, among others. If you are interested, the deadline is the end of January for this summer.

I am not covering much of what is in the museum; it's full of historical, multi-cultural exhibits as well as art. In fact, I had to take a lunch break and come back in the afternoon. It is a wonderful place. If you find yourself in this part of the country, check it out. You will be surprised at how well done it is.

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