The May 2022 exhibition in the main gallery at Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC), 250 W. Amador Ave., is “Water and Women,” and includes work by local artists Maria Lopez and Ana M. Uranga.
Lopez is a figurative painter focusing on the female form, DAAC said in a news release, while Uranga leans toward Impressionism in her landscape paintings that often include water features. These artists are both retired teachers turned full-time painters.
“I have yearned to paint since my first visit to a museum as an adult,” said Lopez. “I’ve painted a little here and there, but mostly I taught school and raised my family. Not until the pandemic did I begin to paint in earnest.”
Lopez, who earned a master of arts in teaching degree from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, integrated art into other subjects to stimulate her students’ interest in learning, DAAC said. Upon retiring, she began painting landscapes in oil and now paints primarily stylized portraits and figures in acrylic. Lopez focuses on color, line and shapes to guide the process of discovering her subject matter. She has lived in Las Cruces since 1979 and has studied with Las Cruces artist and art teacher Wayne Carl Huber.
Uranga studied art at Chabot College in Hayward, California, where she earned an associate in arts degree. She also has a master of arts degree from California State University Hayward. While living in California, Uranga developed a love of the ocean, often reflected in her work, DAAC said. She has found the emergence of the Impressionist painting style throughout her years of painting, providing her freedom of expression. Uranga returned to live in Las Cruces after many years in northern California and also studied with Huber. She is a member of the Artist Guild of New Mexico.
“My work expresses the many moods of moving water, the sun’s brilliant colors shining upon it and nature’s spirit, strength and power in its splendid beauty,” said Uranga. “It is emotive of the gratitude and awe I feel for water’s life-giving poison.”
DAAC is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday, 5 to 8 pm for First Friday Art Ramble (May 6) and noon-5 pm for Second Saturdays (May 8).
Call DAAC at 575-523-6403. Visit www.daarts.org.