Want to get in on the ground floor of collecting from a future Native arts star? On July 4 and 5, the Young Native Artists Show & Sale returns to the Palace Courtyard, from 9 am to 4 pm. Children and grandchildren of artists who belong to the Native American Artisans Program will show off their latest works of art, learn a few tricks of the customer-service trade, and possibly launch a career.
Alvin Van Fleet knows. He was once of the kids selling in the twice-a-year shows. Now he makes silver and copper jewelry that he sells under the Palace Portal. He believes so strongly in this event that he’s helping to organize it even though he doesn’t have children of his own to participate in it.
“The children’s show helps the kids learn how to deal with money and how to continue the tradition their parents are continuing—beadwork, silverwork, pottery,” he said. “That’s how the next generation learns.”
How about making this mid-year resolution: I will visit all of the State Historic Sites this summer. Few experiences can both deepen and widen your understanding of New Mexico history better than trips to the seven sites, which encompass ancestral Native life, Spanish colonists, Territorial forts, and the rip-snortin’ legend of Billy the Kid.
Award-winning author and conservationist William deBuys speaks on and signs copies of his latest book and joins us for a reception honoring the museum’s acquisition of his papers. The Fray Angélico Chávez History Library hosts this free event on Friday, June 19, 5:30–7:30 pm, in the museum auditorium, with light refreshments in the lobby.
In 1992, in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to Western science—a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in 50 years. Rare then and rarer now, a live saola had never been glimpsed by Westerners in the wild whendeBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for the animal in the wilds of central Laos. They endured a punishing trek, whitewater rivers and mountainous terrain ribboned with snare lines set by armed poachers.
The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures (Little, Brown and Company, 2015) is deBuys’ look deep into one of the world’s most remote places. His journey becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature and an encounter with beauty.
Almost anyone who spent part of a summer childhood at camp remembers it with sweet nostalgia—canoeing, shooting arrows, making crafts, and singing around a campfire. Such visions have filled our curatorial heads since November 2014, when Alán Huerta and Minnette Burges approached the museum to gauge our interest in acquiring the contents of their Cimarroncita Ranch Camp for Girls. The couple needed to clear out an archive documenting camp life from 1930–1995—not to mention a lifetime of memories.
“Anytime you acquire a large collection that’s tied to family history, there are opportunities to have many conversations,” said Meredith Davidson, curator of 19th– and 20th-century Southwest collections. “In this instance, the history of the summer camp extends to the 1930s, so there are several generations interpreting the camp’s daily activities and the people who went there.”