Arts/Life
9:33 am
Thu April 10, 2014

New Las Cruces Exhibit Features Local Artist

LAS CRUCES – A new exhibit in the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum’s Arts Corridors features the creative work of Doña Ana County artist Peter Goodman.

The exhibit, “Peter Goodman: Changing Landscapes,” opens on April 18 and will be on display through Aug. 3. An opening reception that is free to the public is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 24.

Goodman’s photographic images celebrate the Southwest: Its natural beauty, and its vast, rough landscape. His creations also pay tribute to ranching, an important but endangered aspect of our culture and history.

The creations are photographs which were digitally manipulated to resemble other media. Sometimes these “tricks” help to de-emphasize inessential elements and highlight the essential ones. They can also simplify an image or add drama to it.

“Sharing an arid part of the world with an increasing population, particularly as our current drought deepens, threatens the ranchers on whose spreads I found some of these images,” said Goodman.  “There's a heritage here worth honoring.”

Goodman’s artwork features scenes of a New Mexico rancher rounding up his cattle to ship to Oklahoma because of the drought here, young men perfecting their skills riding broncs and bulls, and a branding.

The images began as photographs and grew into oil paintings, color pencil drawings, and other media.

“These forms are particularly appropriate for the present subject matter,” said Goodman. “When ranches flourished and most every New Mexican could ride, rope, and shoot, photography was in its infancy and painting and drawing were the norms.”

Goodman and his wife, Dael, live in Doña Ana County.  He shoots photos and videotape; writes poems, weekly newspaper columns, and a blog (“Views from Soledad Canyon”); practices law; and co-hosts a two-hour radio show weekday mornings.  He has been a reporter and filmmaker here, a trial lawyer in San Francisco, a New York cabdriver, and a radio news broadcaster (English-language) in Tai Bei.  He has showed photographs in various venues in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Doña Ana County. 

He  is a graduate of New Mexico State University (B.A. in film-making, M.A. in creative writing) and Harvard University (J.D.).

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, andnoon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for children 5 to 17. For more information, call (575) 522-4100.