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(Courtesy Photo)

(Courtesy Photo)

“People of the Land: Exploring the Art and Antiquities of New Mexico” is on display now through May 31 at the Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center.

The exhibit features a selection of the finest art and artists in the Southwest, including works by Allen Houser, Roxanne Swentzell, Bob Haozous, Lonnie Vigil, and others. These fine art objects have come from private collections and are displayed together for the first time here in Artesia!

Some of the pieces in the display include a bulto (carved figure) of San Pasqual holding a chile ristra, rolling pin, and tortilla. There’s a beautiful Día de los Muertos piece titled “La Bajista” (the bassplayer) by Robb Rael, painted on a skateboard deck!

A steel bison sculpture by Bob Haozous features a bullet indentation — a comment on the species’ near-extinction. Three of Roxanne

(Courtesy Photo)

(Courtesy Photo)

Swentzell’s whimsical clay masks are on display, along with an early silkscreen print by Allen Houser and a glowing micaceous clay olla by Lonnie Vigil.

The exhibit also has a computer kiosk that allows visitors to access further information about each artist and piece. This exhibit was organized by the Southwest Museum of Art and Antiquities, a group of private New Mexico art collectors dedicated to sharing their collections with rural communities to help educate visitors about the wonderful art and history of our state.

The Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center is very grateful to Santo Petroleum for sponsoring this exhibit for us, just in time for Heritage Preservation Month!

Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. – noon and 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call the museum at 748-2390.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Nancy Dunn is the manager of the Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center. Contact her at 748-2390.)