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“I never dreamed of being an artist,” said Maria Dolores, who started taking art classes in the mid-1990s, after retiring as director of sales and marketing for the Hilton Inn in Las Cruces.
“I really got into it,” said the artist, who goes by her first and middle names. (Her last name is Neukirch. Shhh.)
A native of New York City, Dolores will celebrate her 38th anniversary in Las Cruces in April.
She has studied with some of the best art teachers around in the last quarter century, including Sally Quillin, Fred Chilton, Joe Ireland and Jan Archey.
Dolores has had shows at Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, the Cutter Gallery, the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) and the Frame & Art Center. She donated art for an Open Doors art auction that benefitted Jardin de los Niños childcare program, had her work featured in the 2019 Holiday Pop-Up Art Show and had artwork at Salud! de Mesilla – a seven-foot door turned with a depiction of the Organ Mountains in acrylic and wood chips – when the restaurant first opened, and at Bank of the West.
During her DAAC show, Dolores participated in an online auction, selling all five pieces she had on offer.
She sold eight pieces during a 2021 show at the Frame & Art Center, with one patron buying six pieces and one sale coming from a piece requested after the show, Dolores said.
“I’m still in shock over it,” she said, adding her deep appreciation for galleries and other businesses and art lovers from all over who continue to support her work as an artist.
It’s no wonder Dolores has another show coming up at the Frame & Art Center, 1100 S. Main St., Suite 208. Her work will be featured there in February, during For the Love of Art Month in Las Cruces and Mesilla.
The opening reception for Dolores’ show will be 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at Frame and Art Center. Due to the pandemic, no refreshments will be served.
Dolores paints mostly in watercolors and acrylics. And, although she is an animal lover – she shares her West Mesa home with two dogs, ages 11 and 13 – Dolores doesn’t have a favorite subject matter.
“If I see something that excites me, I paint it,” she said.