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Students invited to step into the ‘Dawn of Discovery’


The Las Cruces Space Festival has posted a virtual gallery, “Dawn of Discovery,” to showcase the artists who were chosen as part of the live event that was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gallery, a multi-media exhibit featuring international and local artists portraying the beauty of the universe and the excitement of space exploration, can be found at www.lcspacefestival.com/gallery/.

Karen Conley of the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) curated the show before the Space Festival was canceled.

“I love curating,” she said. “We were so excited and happy about the amount of work and the quality of work that was submitted for this show, which was supposed to happen this spring. We decided we needed to go ahead and build an online platform as a gesture of good will for the artists – to do something for them to get their work out there.”

Conley and Alice Carruth, a festival organizer, said they also wanted to show that the festival is still part of Las Cruces. The online gallery features more than 70 images of artwork created by 43 artists and will be available until Aug. 1.

“We want to be visible in the community,” Conley said.  “We felt like it would be a good venue.

Last year almost 3,000 people came through that art show [on display at the Mesilla Valley Mall].”

She said they don’t know yet if the festival will be able to happen in the fall or will have to wait to next year, but events are still being planned and sponsored.

DAAC is inviting children to visit the virtual gallery and choose their favorite piece(s) of art there.

“They can send us an email telling us what they liked about a piece,” Conley said. “Then we are going to share the comments with the artist, and we are going to connect them with the artist through Zoom or email.”

The “Dawn of Discovery Student Challenge,” is for students in grades 3-12. Participants may submit responses and art until July 1. All responses must be sent to manager@daarts.org. Additional information may be found in the Kid’s Corner tab at www.daarts.org.

DAAC will also accept space-themed artwork from students to be displayed on the Las Cruces Space Festival website, as well as the DAAC website.

The artists in the gallery are welcome to sell their art, Conley said. She said the sale is still between the potential artist and the buyer, with a recommended donation to United Way of 20 percent of the sales.