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NMSU invites Las Cruces community to explore ancient art of weaving

In an effort to support worldwide cultures and artistic diversity, the Center for Latin American and Border Studies and the Art Department at New Mexico State University will host "Weaving Tradition and Culture," a series of events featuring Peruvian master weaver Alexander Gallardo-Pinco.

o-Pinco has worked to preserve ancient weaving techniques and patterns established in Ayacucho, Peru.

The weavers of Ayacucho carry on the expertise and artistic skills of their ancestors, the Wari culture. The Wari developed their political power in the central highlands of Peru between 500 and 800 A.D. Their imperial style spread through much of the Andes. Following the traditions of their ancestors, contemporary weavers work intensely in all aspects of textile production, from the gathering of raw materials from plants and animals, to the threads and the dyeing process, to the selection of sophisticated patterns. The capacity for abstraction of Wari weavers is distinct among the Peruvian weaving artists.

NMSU invites the Las Cruces community to share the ancient art of weaving through workshops, demonstrations, lectures and exhibitions. The series will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Branigan Cultural Center, 500 N. Water St., with the exhibition "Master Weavers of Peru: Wari/Inca Legacy" and a gallery talk by Gallardo-Pinco.

The exhibition "Native Textiles of the Americas" will open at 3 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Nason House, 1200 University Ave. Opening remarks will be given by Waded Cruzado-Salas, the dean of the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences, followed by lectures by NMSU professors.

From 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 15 and 16 Gallardo-Pinco will offer demonstrations of traditional Peruvian tapestry at the Nason House. From noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 18, Gallardo-Pinco will present a lecture at the D.W. Williams Art Gallery at NMSU. From 2 to 6 p.m. Oct 18 and 19, Gallardo-Pinco will offer a demonstration on back-strap loom and spinning in front of the art gallery.

Two hands-on weaving workshops also will be offered, and proceeds will be donated to the Los Gorriones orphanage in Ayacucho, Peru. The first workshop, "Spinning and Natural Dyes," will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at La Buena Vida Alpacas in Anthony, N.M. The fee is $150, and lunch, supplies and transportation will be provided.

The second workshop, "Interlocking Tapestry on Floor Loom," will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9 at the Las Cruces Museum of Fine Arts. The fee is $250, and lunch and supplies will be provided. The fee is $300 to attend both workshops.

Seating for the workshops is limited and registration is required. For more information call (505) 646-6814 or visit http://www.nmsu.edu/~clas.