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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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University Art Gallery fund raiser most successful ever

The Friends of the Gallery raised $30,000 to benefit the New Mexico State University Art Gallery at the group's annual Gala Art Auction, gallery director Charles Lovell said.

Friends president Ammu Devasthali said the money supports programs beneficial to the community, including student scholarships, visiting artist presentations, exhibitions and the gallery's permanent collection.

Las Cruces architect Ted Shelton and Spirit Winds owner Richard Parra co-chaired the annual auction, held Oct. 28 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

Shelton said the collaborative efforts of the arts community and the Friends of the Gallery were key in making this year's event the most successful auction to date.

"I think the participation of the local artists is what put us over the top," said Parra, adding that he was pleased with the number and the quality of the donations to the auction.

Parra, who was a student in the NMSU art program, said he understands how art students struggle. "I know this kind of support can help," he said.

In addition to providing salaries and scholarships to students, the group supports the gallery's retablo collection.

"The gallery's retablo collection is the crown jewel of the permanent collection," Lovell said. With more than 1,700 pieces of Mexican religious images painted in oil on canvas or tin- plated iron, the 19th and 20th century retablo collection is one of the largest in North America.

"El Favor de Los Santos," an exhibition of NMSU retablos, is on a three-year tour of major museums in the United States and Mexico. The exhibition currently is in Mexico City and will travel in March to the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, Calif.

For more information about the collection, or to arrange a tour of the University Art Gallery, call (505) 646-2545.

Dec. 4, 2000