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Visioning the West in the University Art Gallery


Las Cruces, NM–The NMSU University Art Gallery is opening its doors for the 2015 summer exhibition titled, “Re:Visioning the West.” This group show, curated by Marisa Sage, UAG gallery director, was juried by the UAG Exhibition Review Board from more than 100 international applicants who applied for an open call made by the UAG for exhibition proposals.

The Exhibition Review Board is a new committee made up of community members, nationally recognized arts professionals and NMSU art faculty. In “Re:Visioning the West,” the University Art Gallery challenges the audience to consider our beloved West in a new light. We ask our viewers to examine the clichés and nostalgic visions of the “Old” West as myth, and consider these contemporary artists’ views of the West as telling a layered story of our complex relationship with the tenet of Manifest Destiny.

The artists featured in this exhibition are Jeffrey DaCosta, Felice House, Dana Younger, Kathleen Scott and Millee Tibbs. Jeffrey DaCosta connects historical symbolism to contemporary meaning; his work examines resource development and exchange through the context of material and iconography. Jeffrey DaCosta’s mixed media work asks “how do we live within the land, how do we value that integration, and what do we sacrifice?” Felice House and Dana Younger ask their audiences to reevaluate the typical archetypes and cultural mythos of the West. By painting strong and fierce women in place of the stereotypical male hero in the Hollywood version of the West, Felice House deals directly with the limited access of women to power in the western genre. Dana Younger focuses his mostly sculptural work on the cost of Western expansion; juxtaposing established Western conventions with historical figures to spotlight the damage associated with westward expansion. A stop-motion film by Kathleen Scott addresses the beauty, vastness…and the inherent loneliness the great American western landscape evokes. Millee Tibbs explores the tumultuous relationship between viewing a landscape in situ versus viewing a landscape through photography. Tibbs believes in both cases that the viewer is presented with an expansive yet inaccessible vista and that “it is in this space between the land and its viewer that the fantasy of the American West was constructed.”

In epic paintings, triumphant books, and perhaps most famously, projected in full Technicolor onto the silver screen, the West has inspired various artistic media throughout the history of the United States. Through the various media reflected in this exhibition, the University Art Gallery hopes that its visitors leave the space with a newfound perspective of the West and its typical connotations.

The opening reception for “Re:Visioning the West,” which is free and open to the public, will be held in the UAG from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. A number of lectures and workshops are being offered in conjunction with this exhibition:


Saturday, House_VirginiaEastwood_GoodBadUgly_WBMay 23

Workshop with Felice House

University Art Gallery, 12-2 p.m.

A beginner’s guide to painting





Thursday,NearEastFam May 28

The Near East Family: Ode to the West

David & Tara Gladden create a site-specific audiovisual performance

University Art Gallery, 6pm


Tibbs_NM1Thursday, July 16

Gallery Talk with Millee Tibbs

University Art Gallery, 6 p.m.




Scott_The West 1_WBSaturday, August 22

Workshop with Kathleen Scott

University Art Gallery, 12-2 p.m.

A beginner’s guide to stop-motion videos





The exhibition will run through Aug. 22.

The NMSU University Art Gallery is located in D.W. Williams Hall, at the intersection of University Avenue and Solano Drive.  The UAG is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Designated gallery parking is available, and general parking on the NMSU campus is free on weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For more information, or to arrange a group visit, please visit the gallery website at: http://uag.nmsu.edu/, or contact UAG Administrator Jasmine Woodul directly at 575-646-2545 or artglry@nmsu.edu.