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‘From Mesilla to the Mountains’ art show at Mas Art Gallery


“From Mesilla to the Mountains” is an exhibit of local scenes painted outdoors by local watercolorist Arlene J. Tugel.

The show runs Friday, July 7-Monday, Aug. 7 at Mas Art Gallery, 144 Wyatt Drive, Tugel said in a news release.

Tugel and new gallery owner Curtis Bristol will attend the show’s opening reception, 4-7 p.m. Friday, July 7, during First Friday Art Ramble. A second reception will be held 4-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4.

Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

“My preferred medium is watercolor because it allows me to reveal the play of light and shadow across the land. My paintings show how light in the Southwest creates magical landscapes,” said Tugel, who has lived in Las Cruces for the past 25 years.

Tugel “has strong connections at many levels to the world around her,” she said.

As a young girl in California, Tugel said she anticipated every trip to the Sierra Nevada where she could immerse herself in the amazing mountain landscapes. Working as a soil scientist in the West for 36 years gave her opportunities to study the way the land blankets the Earth, how it supports different kinds of plants and how water and wind shape the land. As a retiree, Tugel discovered she could set up her easel and paint en plein air (outdoors) where she now creates most of her paintings.

Her passion for the land inspires her paintings and feeds her soul,” Tugel said.

The exhibit includes more than two dozen paintings of desert scenes, local mountain landscapes (the Organs, Doña Anas, Robledos and Picacho Peak), adobe buildings, wildflowers and classic New Mexico doors, the news release said. Most of the watercolor paintings are on traditional archival paper. Some are on panels that are sealed with varnish. Panels are a unique surface for watercolor that allow Tugel to create highly vivid colors, she said.

Tugel is an award-winning artist and signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society. Her work has shown in galleries and museums in New Mexico and Arizona, and she has painted in plein air competitions in Las Cruces, Silver City and Deming. Tugel is also a member of the Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery where her artwork is on display year-round. Visit www.mesillavalleyfinearts.com.

For more information, contact Mas Art Gallery at 575-526-9113. Visit www.masartllc.com.