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‘Oils and Pastels’ continues at art council gallery


A show called “Oil and Pastels” continues through Monday, June 29, at the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) Arts and Cultural Center, 840 Calle de Mercado.

Participating artists are Silvia Saenz Sierra, Mark Morden and Storm Sermay.

Here are the biographies of the participating artists, from each artist:

  • Silvia Saenz Sierra’s interest in pastel and oil painting started more than 30 years ago when she enrolled in a class at New Mexico State University while pursuing a masters of arts in interdisciplinary studies. As other priorities entered her life such as family and work, oil and pastel painting shifted to the sideline of her daily life, but not from her awareness. Four years ago, Sierra was introduced to Raven Studio artist Rick Rotante and through his training and guidance Silvia enjoyed learning and exploring oil as well as pastel painting. During her training under Rodante, Sierra had the delight of venturing into her own artistic quest of painting with pastel as a medium from hard to soft to the enticing beauty of oil paints that has guided her to a deep-seated level of self-expression. She enjoys painting portraits, old cars and landscapes. Looking for light and dark contrast in her daily scenery is how she finds inspiration for a joyous creative process she calls art.
  • Mark Morden is a retired architect from the Pacific Northwest who moved to Las Cruces in 2018. He earned a BA from the University of Oregon in 1980. In addition to architecture, Morden studied pastels and drawing while at school. During his career as an architect, Morden channeled his artistic pursuits into fine art paperfolding. He created a number of original pieces and participated in exhibits around the Pacific Northwest. Two significant international exhibitions included his works: ORIGAMI MASTERWORKS – Innovative Forms in the Art of Paperfolding, 2003, at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego (Morden’s piece “United We Stand (1000 Cranes)” is now part of the museum’s permanent collection), and Masters of Origami, 2005, at the Hanger-7 gallery in Salzburg, Austria (Morden had two pieces included in the show). Since moving to Las Cruces, Morden has been able to develop his talents in drawing and pastel painting. Because of his life-long interest in architecture, most of his painting subject matter is the built environment. His focus is on capturing light and shadow along with design and composition of the piece. Morden also draws and paints portraits and includes figures in his drawing work. Morden studied for about 18 months with Rick Rotante at the Raven Art Gallery and Studio. The DAAC show is the first exhibition of his pastel pieces.
  • Born in New York and raised in Florida, Storm Sermay has lived in New Mexico for 46 years. Her photography began in 2008 after taking classes at Mesilla Digital Imaging in Las Cruces and at Santa Fe photo workshops both in the U.S. and internationally. She works in both black and white and color. She also does hand-colored photographs in pencil and pastel. She enjoys street photography and has also photographed landscapes and seascapes extensively around the western U.S. Sermay says the intent of these photos is to capture the atmosphere and emotional sense of place rather than a specific travel location. Locally she is active in the Border Artists, a group consisting of 20 members (by invitation) including painters, sculptors, photographers, metal and stone workers, printmakers and mixed media artists. As a member of the Doña Ana Photography Club, she has presented programs and taught a number of photography workshops.

DAAC is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information, contact DAAC Program Manager Karen S. Conley at 575-523-6403 and manager@daarts.org. Visit www.daarts.org.