The art of the NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum presents a monumental territory
LAS CRUCES, NM — An art exhibit inspired by Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument and nearby ranches and farmlands opens at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces on 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.
His selection as Artist-in-Residence for the Friends of the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument program in 2016 inspired the art in this exhibit. The exhibit features abstract paintings, including acrylic spray paint, and photographs. His work relates to the culture of New Mexico as it captures the beauty of the national monument and the life on the farm and ranch communities nearby. 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 historical monument 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: farmland, cattle ranching 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.
About the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is a sprawling 47-acre facility in Las Cruces that shares and preserves the region’s 4,000-year history of food culture. The campus includes barns, corrals, livestock, art galleries, indoor and outdoor exhibits, a gift shop, and a snack bar. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday. It is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and is supported by the Friends of New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.