Farm and Ranch Museum Art Exhibit Features “Monumental Territory” Photo Exhibit

By Craig Massey, Public Information/Media Relations

An art exhibit inspired by the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument and nearby ranches and farmlands opens at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum (NMFRHM) on Friday, April 23.

“Monumental Territory” will be on display in the museum’s arts hallway through the end of July 2021. The exhibit features 22 creative works by Las Cruces artist Kayla Blundell.

Blundell’s selection of Artists in Residence for the Friends of the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument program in 2016 inspired the art of the show.

The exhibit features abstract paintings, including acrylic spray paint, and photographs. Blundell’s work relates to the culture of New Mexico as it captures the beauty of the national monument and the life on the nearby farm and ranch communities. In some of her mixed media work, she uses papier-mâché to create a 3D effect to help the viewer feel the feel of the mountains and maar volcanic arc known as Kilbourne Hole in the south of the county by Dona Ana.

“One of the first things that all the farmers, ranchers, and New Mexicans around here see every day (these are the mountains), and it’s a great historic landmark that connects everyone who lives here and continues to be a landmark in our lives,” Blundell said. “We get so used to the areas we live in and tend to get trapped in complacency, forgetting to look around at the beautiful surroundings.

“If you drive down Baylor Canyon Road, you’ll see three things: ranches with roaming cattle, the river and farmland in the distance, and the beautiful national monument,” she said. “Also, if you drive through the valley, you will see three things: the farmland, the ranching cattle and, of course, the beautiful national monument.

In her photographs, Blundell captures the scenes and farm life she enjoys in hopes of encouraging those around her to love farm and ranch life in Monumental Territory. Painting is a passion that she carries and uses to express herself through the surrounding nature and culture.

Blundell was born and raised in West Texas. She moved to Las Cruces in 2011 when she married her husband, Josh Blundell, who helped her with this show. He made all the frames for his work.

NMFRHM’s 47-acre facility at 4100 Dripping Springs Road that shares and preserves the area’s 4,000-year history of food culture. The campus includes barns, corrals, livestock, art galleries, indoor and outdoor exhibits, a gift shop, and snack bar. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

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Contact Craig Massey at [email protected]

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