Arts & Culture
Art, Music, and Southern New Mexico Intrigue
Las Cruces, New Mexico, is a vibrant and diverse hub of art and culture. From its lively downtown scene to its renowned museums, Las Cruces offers something for every art lover. The city's rich cultural heritage is reflected in its many galleries, theaters, and cultural centers, which showcase the work of local and international artists alike.
Las Cruces has proven to be an up-and-coming mecca for artists from all walks of life. Hence, any art enthusiast can find just about any style from any time period.
For a little of everything, M. Phillip’s Fine Art Gallery boasts fine collections of paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art, both contemporary and old. The selection consists of works by artists from various parts of the Southwest and other regions in the U.S. Additionally, one can find creations from almost all European countries and Russia.
Also, art enthusiasts can visit Mel Stone, a world-class photographer, at the Mesquite Art Gallery, where works by artists such as Charles Beck, Sandi Dahl, and many others are featured. In addition to viewing (and purchasing) fine sketches, paintings, and woodcuts, patrons can gain insight into each artist and their style and influence.
Likewise, visitors can stop by Art Obscura for a glimpse of the beauty and the macabre. The unique works in this gallery consist of sketches, photographs, and multimedia pictures. Moreover, fans of antiquing will come across some great finds upstairs.
In addition to the many galleries, you can plan for tours at the many museums and get a glimpse into the artistic inspiration and historical aspects of this area.
The Las Cruces Museum of Art covers a broad gamut of styles and artistic movements through countless media. From traditional Southwestern art to modern abstract pieces, anyone who appreciates unique talent will be enthralled by this vast collection, along with the traveling exhibits and fascinating workshops.
Filled with multisensory exhibits, visitors of the Museum of Nature and Science can travel through the three main areas: Desert Life, Light and Space, and Permian Trackways.
For yet another intriguing journey, the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum takes visitors back almost 4,000 years through interactive exhibits that tell the story of the various cultures and their struggle to survive and thrive. Both adults and youth will be fascinated with storytelling, the history of agricultural innovation, and the traditions associated with farmers and vaqueros.
It isn’t hard to find live musical performances while you’re in town. The Pan American Center provides the ultimate stadium concert experience, hosting the best of the best in rock, country, R&B, and more.
The AmadorLive District, located downtown, is the heart of local Las Cruces concerts, where music fans can find a little of every genre–along with excellent cuisine and cocktails. Fans of Spanish music can dance the night away to their favorite Norteña artists or bandas. For those who enjoy rap, R&B, hip-hop, and soul, AmadorLive hosts events featuring well-known artists as well as the up-and-coming. Plus, one can party away listening to renowned rock and country musicians.
For a more classical mix of brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion, visitors have the option of purchasing tickets for performances by the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra at the Atkinson Recital Hall at NMSU. Symphony Season in Las Cruces always promises a stellar variety of time-honored composers, like Bach and Mozart, as well as the more contemporary Pops Concert, which is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Arts and Culture Around Town
Visitors and locals alike enjoy the broad spectrum of Las Cruces events which bring a unique blend of cultural experiences. As anyone can see, especially in the case of the Las Cruces theaters, the performing arts are thriving. Such events can be found at:
- The Rio Grande Theatre-which has hosted iconic performances in dance, drama and comedy, film, and music since 1926
- The Las Cruces Community Little Theatre-where local productions from a wide range of dramatic movements wow the audience at every turn
- The Branigan Cultural Center-the Branigan Center celebrates the plethora of cultures that make up Las Cruces along with its colorful history.