Saint Joseph & The Laborers
This exhibition will be open by appointment beginning Saturday, February 20, 2021. 

The University Art Museum (UAM) is excited to present Saint Joseph & The Laborers, the second exhibition in the newly created Margie and Bobby Rankin Retablo Gallery at the UAM. In Saint Joseph & The Laborers, the role of the laborer will be looked at through the lens of Mexican retablo imagery. Through acts of labor, humans fulfill the command found in Genesis to care for the earth, and the direction to be productive in their labors. Saint Joseph (San José), the foster-father of Jesus, was a carpenter in Nazareth, serving as a key example of the holiness of human labor. Before Spain had accepted Saint Joseph as a devotional saint, Mexico had already been the “chosen land of Saint Joseph” for several decades, his image disseminated in the common art of retablo painting. Saints such as the Archangels: Saint Michael and Saint Raphael (San Miguel y San Rafael), Saint Isidore (San Isidro), and Saint Vincent Ferrer (San Vicente Ferrer) are other key patrons of laborers in the Mexican Catholic faith, their imagery widespread across Mexican retablos displayed in this exhibition. In this exhibition, the UAM will display for the first time a Mexican bulto (statue), as well as other retablo paintings from the recent donation to the UAM Permanent Art Collection by leading retablo expert Gloria Fraser Giffords.

Take part in a retablo making workshop a live virtual event with artist Karen Conley where she will teach community members and children how to make retablos for the museum’s next event, “Joseph’s Feast Day,” a community-sourced collection of homemade altars built by confined families all over the world.

Lesson plan available now for download by clicking here. 


Syn- Ger Xiong & Cierra Redding MFA Thesis Exhibition 2021
April 23 – May 16, 2021
Virtual and live opening reception Friday, April 23, 6PM

The UAM is proud to present Syn– featuring work by artists Ger Xiong & Cierra Redding, the first Master of Fine Art candidates to exhibit in the newly opened Devasthali Hall. In Syn-, both Xiong and Redding explore themes of   identity, loss, and absence through the use of various materials and forms. Ger Xiong’s finely crafted textiles and wearable objects are representative of his complex Hmong cultural identity. Each work navigates his Hmong American experience through the lens of assimilation, migration, and colonization, reflecting loss, commodification, and the resilience of being Hmong. Cierra Redding’s sensorial and experiential sculptures reveal a fascination with vision and longing influenced by a long-distance relationship and Nystagmus, a rare chronic eye condition she has had since birth. Redding’s large black ceramic vessels allude to mourning the loss of touch during our complicated COVID times; the exterior textures and brightly colored interiors reference a warm and affectionate time, reminiscent of her childhood in the 90’s. NMSU Assistant Professor, Joshua Clark, interprets, “between them exists an engaging discourse, which feels timely and timeless” where “ both artists are wrestling with one of the oldest human conundrums; how to conserve the worthy aspects of our past, both collectively and personally.”

More information regarding the exhibition coming soon.


Sorry for the Mess
Justin Favela and Ramiro Gomez 
July 29-November 6th, 2021
Read full press release here. 
Read postponement press release here. 

The University Art Museum (UAM) is proud to present Sorry for the Mess an exhibition featuring work by artists Ramiro Gomez and Justin Favela; this exhibition is currently postponed, but will open in July of 2021. The exhibition, originating at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) focuses on labor, childhood memories, and life as first generation Americans in the Southwest. The highly successful Las Vegas based exhibition is being presented at the UAM, as it engages with unseen labor and narratives of the artist’s hometowns; as well as the commonality of these themes that affect and shape our local Las Cruces and regional community. Much of the exhibition will be brought directly from Las Vegas on loan, but will also include an interactive site specific piece created by Justin Favela specifically for our iteration of the exhibition.

Be part of the exhibition in 2021 by taking part in a virtual plant making workshop with artist Justin Favela. Follow along at home, and drop you plant off at the museum. Read more here watch the workshop below. 


PASOS AJENOS: Social Justice and Inequalities in the Borderlands 
July 29-November 6th, 2021
Read full press release here. 

New Mexico State University’s Art Museum announces a timely exhibit focused on social justice issues impacting the Las Cruces and El Paso Borderlands region. “Pasos Ajenos: Social Justice and Inequalities in the Borderlands” will be on display at the University Art Museum in July of 2021 in the Bunny Conlon Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery. This exhibit is motivated by current social crises and responds to the call for a deeper understanding of local history and complex relationships based on race, nationality, gender, and intersecting social statuses.

More information regarding upcoming 2020-2021 exhibitions coming soon.