Water on the Border show opens at Branigan

Mirage, diptych, oil on canvas, 32 x 49 in
Mirage, diptych, oil on canvas, 32 x 49 in
Mirage, Jean Wilkey, diptych, oil on canvas, 32 x 49 in | Available

The Border Artists’ group show, Water on the Border, opens at the Branigan Cultural Center on June 30th, with a free open reception during the downtown ramble on June 7th from 5-7 pm. A themed show, the artwork examines water from a variety of perspectives and media.

Mirage is a diptych that represents two views of the Arroyo.  Arroyos are steep-sided gullies or riverbeds that are dry except in the rainy season. The left panel represents a mirage, an extrapolation of the glorious onrush of water we experience during the monsoon season. It’s a reflection of our imagination regarding how we see the Arroyo.

Mirage, panel 2, detail
Mirage, panel 2, detail

Those of us who live in desert cities along the border sometimes assume the water coming from our tap exists in a never-ending supply. It is an illusion. The panel at the left depicts the Arroyo as a mirage as if the rains of the monsoon season will last forever. This mirage is illusory, unattainable. It is an apparition that vanishes.

The panel on the right is an index of the drying, cracked earth that remains.

The show runs through September 16th

Branigan Cultural Center

501 N Main, Las Cruces, NM –

Hours – Tu-Fr 0-4:30; Sa 9-4:30