Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Learn about art and history from Silver City to Beijing with lectures and tours from the ARTE Institute

By Mike Cook

By Mike Cook

Las Cruces bulletin

The ARTE Institute for Lifelong Learning of Las Cruces will begin with spring courses and tours on Monday January 10, 2022, and begin a semester that will last through May 17 and will include visits to the El Paso and Santa Fe missions, both in person and Zoom lectures on New Mexico artists and contemporary Native American artists, a Billy the Kid walking tour in Silver City, the music of Aaron Copland, and the baroque art of Artemisia Gentileschi.

If you’d like to take Zoom courses starting January 10th, register by Friday January 7th. You can register and catch up on recorded sessions until January 21st.

ARTE was launched in 2021 by Kathleen Albers and Kathleen Key, who refer to themselves as “The Two Ks”. Albers retired at the beginning of last year after more than 20 years with the Doña Ana Arts Council, including as its long-time director. Key teaches art history at UTEP.

The cost is $ 155 per person for unlimited access to all courses and local events; $ 75 is the al-a-carte price per course. You can add a household member to either option for an additional fee of $ 10 per person.

For registration information, call 575-635-1973 or 575-915-4965.

Personal presentations

  • “Aaron Copland and the Orchestral Sound of a Nation” with Jim Smith, 2-5pm Sunday, February 6th, Holy Cross Retreat Center, 600 Holy Cross Road. This presentation provides an overview of Copland’s life, his music and a detailed analysis of his composition “Appalachian Spring”.
  • “Appalachian Spring Artistry in Dance” with Devon Wall, 2-5pm Sunday, February 20th, at Holy Cross

Retreat center. The ballet set for Aaron Copland’s composition is explained and its history explored. Wall will discuss the intricacies of the Martha Graham Dance Company through its long history and the intricacies of the Appalachian Spring.

  • “Why is Artemisia Gentileschi the quintessence of the baroque artist?” 6.30pm-9pm Friday, February 25th, in the Woman’s Club of El Paso, 1400 N. Mesa St. and Saturday, February 26th, in Las Cruces, time and place are still to be determined announced. This presentation is by Kathleen Key in association with the Camerata Del Sol Chamber Orchestra. The presentations include the orchestral music of baroque composers performed by the Camerata del Sol. Tickets cost between $ 10 and $ 15 and are available at the box office.
  • Attend the El Paso Missions with Father Tom Smith, Director of the Holy Cross Retreat, Tuesday, May 17, 10 am-4pm. This is a full day tour of two missions in southern El Paso. A fee is charged to cover the cost of a tour bus for this local excursion. More details will follow.

Quotes spring 2022 via Zoom

Lecture recordings are automatically sent to enrolled students. PowerPoint presentations are available upon request.

  • “Artists of New Mexico” with Kathleen Key, six sessions; Mondays 4-5.30 p.m., Jan. 10.02. 21. This class focuses on the rich art created in the Land of Enchantment during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
  • “Contemporary American Indian Artists” with Kathleen Key, six sessions; Mondays, 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., 28.02.-11.04. The program deals with today’s Indian artists, including basket makers, pearl and quill pens, jewelers, metal smiths, ceramic and glass artists, installation and performance artists, fashion designers and textile artists, photographers, printmakers, architects, painters and sculptors. Zoom courses take place on Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Dream trips to selected US cities with Kathleen Key, eight sessions; 1.30 p.m. Wednesdays, 12.01.-02.02. March 9 and 23 – April 6; San Francisco (two lectures), Hearst Museum, Getty Museum, Seattle, Denver, Washington DC (two lectures) San Diego and pre-excursion lectures for ARTE trips to Santa Fe, Silver City, the El Paso Missions, and the San Patricio-Lincoln-Roswell trip in June.
  • “Billy the Kid and the Evolution of an American Myth” with Jim Smith, five sessions, Wednesdays, 1.30pm-3pm, February 16-March 16. This course provides an overview of the life of Billy the Kid and one

Examining its ever-changing myth and what it reveals about changes in American culture.

  • Billy the Kid walking tour of downtown Silver City either Friday or Saturday, March 18 or 19; The Kid moved to Silver City with his family in 1873. By the time he left town in 1875, he was well on his way to becoming one of the most notorious and controversial outlaws in history. This Silver City walking tour will tell stories from Henry McCarty’s childhood, with a special focus on his mother’s story and the locations in downtown Silver City that sparked many of the legends and myths surrounding Billy the Kid. The 90 minute tour covers 1.5 miles.

Zoom courses, Thursdays 4-5.30 p.m.

  • “Destination China: Six Great Cities in Chinese History” with Elvira Masson, Thursdays 4-5.30 p.m.,

January 20 – February 24, six sessions; Explore Beijing, Xian, Dunhuang, Xiahe, Chongqing and Shanghai, the two ancient capitals, a Silk Road oasis, a Tibetan holy site, a Yangtze city and a modern one


  • “The Art of Alignment” with Bill Key, five sessions plus one bridging session; 4-5.30 p.m. Thursdays, March 24th, May 5th; five weeks of fascinating exploration on how alignment is the key to great art. In addition, a holdover class from last summer, Egyptian Obelisks, will be presented on May 5th.

Excursions planned for spring, summer and autumn 2022

  • Thursday-Sunday, 3rd-6th March: Santa Fe Museums and Appalachian Spring Ballet at Lensic


  • Wednesday-Sunday, April 27th-May: 1 trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.
  • Wednesday-Sunday, 22.-26. June: San Patricio-Lincoln-Roswell to see artwork by Wyeth and Hurd; stay

the Hurd La Rinconada Ranch in San Patricio, New Mexico

  • Thursday-Monday, 20.-24. October: Marfa: A contemporary art mecca in West Texas

Lecturer biographies

  • Kathleen Key is co-founder of the ARTE Institute for Lifelong Learning and an art historian and world

Traveler who has taught history of art at the University of Houston, UTEP and UTEP’s continuing education program.

  • Bill Key, Kathleen’s husband, recently retired from an international career as a petroleum engineer. He has worked in Egypt for over 20 years and is part of the UTEP continuing education program.
  • Elvira Masson is a professor of history and linguistics at New Mexico State University, who first visited China as a student in 1983. At NMSU, she teaches courses on ancient and modern East Asia with a focus on cultural history, including literature, visual and performing arts, and Buddhism.
  • Jim Smith is a former history teacher at Mayfield High School who was State Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the National Teachers Hall of Fame. As an educational advisor, Smith has given workshops and presentations to history teachers in the United States, Europe and Asia. Smith’s novel “Catherine’s Son” about Billy the Kid was nominated for the NM-AZ Book Awards for best historical novel. He also wrote the history textbook Ideas That Shape a Nation.
  • Devon Wall grew up in El Paso but left after high school to explore the world of dance. She received a BA in Dance from Sam Houston State University and an MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Wall also worked in arts administration for the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. She recently retired from a 20 year career with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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