Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.


Collaboration means thriving arts in our community


Editor’s note: Araceli Solis succeeded Greg Smith as executive director of the Doña Ana Arts Council in February. At about the same time, DAAC moved to its new home at 230 N. Water St. downtown.

I feel extremely honored to be in this position and contribute to creating a community where the arts continue to thrive.

My goal is to support the vision and mission of the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) to enhance the quality of life and develop the cultural, educational and economic growth of our community through the arts.

In my new role, I plan to work collaboratively with my office staff, board members and community partners to enhance the diversity of the cultures within the Doña Ana (County) community and continue to provide artistic opportunities and events for all.

My goal is to create and establish a strong partnership with the Doña Ana County school districts and provide aspiring young student artists with art exhibit opportunities and show them the many possibilities of careers within the arts.

I want to bring in a diversity of cultures into the gallery art exhibits. I want the organization to be the heart of the arts in Doña Ana county. We want to be nominated and win in the Best of the Mesilla Valley awards within the following categories: entertainment and leisure, kids and education, people, and services.

In addition, (we want to) establish lifelong sponsorships to keep (DAAC) financially thriving to continue providing events and educational programs across the county.

My personal mission and goal is to love, serve and care for the Doña Ana community through the arts to the best of my ability. I want to work with other nonprofits within the county to bring in art wellness events and support those these organizations serve.

With God, the support of the DAAC team and community, plus the unconditional support from my wonderful husband, Ommar, and two children, I have no doubt DAAC will become what WE envision it to be.

Contact Solis at 575-523-6403 and director@daarts.org. Visit daarts.org.

Araceli Rios de Solis is a Chicana artist, “proud daughter of immigrants” and a descendant of the Purepecha of Michoacan. She has exhibited some of her cultural art pieces and photography in galleries in Las Cruces and El Paso and has participated in several arts-related events in California for many years.

“My artwork tells my story and shows the beauty and struggles of my cultura,” Solis said. “I am passionate about using bright complementary color schemes in my work. I use my gift of the arts to promote wellness, team building, healing and motivational speaking through AZR Arte con Cheli and The Cempasuchil Effect.

Solis said she has been married for almost 20 years to Ommar, “a wonderful Tarahumara descendent.” The couple has two children, Ximena and Santiago.

Solis was born in Kansas City, Kansas and raised in Wasco, California.

“We moved to Las Cruces because the Organ Mountains captivated us,” she said.  In addition, Las Cruces citizens are very nice, and the Doña Ana community is very rich in cultural diversity; it captured our heart.  We have been residing here for four years now.

Solis is “a retired semi-professional folklorico dancer who is looking to re-emerge as soon as I find an adult dance group.”

She enjoys “spending time with God, my family, traveling, reading, creating art, empowering females, bringing out the best in others and living life. I was an educator for over 20 years and have taught from elementary through adults a multitude of subjects. My last couple years in education, I was teaching Art and absolutely loving it.  For this job (at DAAC) I prayed, and I know it was time to transition and venture into a new direction.  I am extremely excited to have this opportunity and thrive where I have been planted.”