The Visual Arts of Roswell
The visual arts are alive and well in Roswell. The city boasts some of the finest collections and art opportunities in the region.
The highly respected and nationally known Roswell Museum and Art Center, located at 11th and Main Street, is a key attraction. Its impressive art collection represents three main categories – Regional (including works by Peter Hurd, Henriette Wyeth and Michael Hurd), New Mexico Modernism (including Georgia O’Keefe and Marsden Hartley) and Contemporary (including works by Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program participants Louis Jimenez and Elmer Schooley).
Other permanent exhibitions at the museum include the special collection of rocketry pioneer, Robert H. Goddard and the Rogers and Mary Aston Collection of the American West. The 2000 artifacts in the Aston collection also include many pieces of western art and Aston’s own sculptural creations in bronze. Admission is free and hours are M-Sat 9-5 and Sun., 1-5.
The museum’s partnership with the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, which draws participants from around the world, results in month-long exhibitions of each resident’s works and provides the community with a global view of contemporary artists. The residency program, now in its 38th year, was developed under the auspices of Donald Anderson, Roswell artist and oil entrepreneur. It provides its participants with both living and studio facilities and with “the gift of time” to develop and realize their artistic vision.
Just east of the New Mexico Military Institute is the Anderson Museum Of Contemporary Art. Located at 409 E. College Blvd., this outstanding facility exhibits works collected from 170 participants in the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program. The collection is recognized as one of the finest presentations of contemporary art in the southwest. Admission is free, and the museum’s hours are M-F, 9-12 and 1-4, and Sat.-Sun., 1-5.
Roswell also boasts the Roswell Fine Arts League/New Mexico Miniature Arts Society. The Roswell Fine Arts League was originally formed in 1981. In 1988, it joined with the New Mexico Miniature Arts Society, resulting in a “grass roots” non-profit organization whose purpose is to further educate and broaden artists’ abilities, to provide artists with opportunities to exhibit their work and to promote public appreciation of the visual arts. The league has more than 70 members from throughout southeastern New Mexico, and from several national and international locations. The Roswell Museum and Art Center serves as the venue for the league’s popular Annual Juried Art Show and Competition held in early August. It features artwork from several states and from locations abroad. Admission is free. The league also operates The Gallery, a co-op art gallery located at 107 E. 5th Street, that features the works of over twenty area artists. In addition to its regular hours of Mon.-Sat., 10:30-4:30, The Gallery hosts afternoon receptions on the second Sunday of each month that showcase a guest artist from the area.
A new addition to the art scene is The Nearburg Art Galleries (previously known as The Virtual Gallery). Located at 211 W. First Street, this facility offers the exhibition of established, emerging and young artists, a wide variety of classes for adults and children, meeting areas and computer labs. Hours are M-F, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call Gena Nearburg at 910-2913 for more information.
Across from Roswell’s historic Chaves County Courthouse in Pioneer Plaza is an impressive bronze statue created by famed Texas sculptor Robert T. Summers II. It depicts legendary cattle baron John Chisum and his lead steer Ruidoso. More sculpture reflecting the colorful history of the area is planned for both in and around the newly restored and expanded Courthouse.
So whether you are an established artist, or you wish to explore an undeveloped talent, or you wish to participate in the presentation and appreciation of art, Roswell offers a myriad of choices. The opportunities listed here are but a few to whet the appetite.
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107 E. 5th Roswell