Doña Ana Arts Council Offers Multi-Day Art Workshops

January 18, 2019 Carlos Arreola

The Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC), which has been offering Get ArtRageous! two-hour art classes to enthusiastic and often-filled sessions, is now delving deeper into more extensive workshops for beginning to experienced artists. The first of the new Art Workshops was held in January, a two-day workshop with accomplished local artist Julie Ford Oliver on “Fracturing Technique in Oil or Acrylic.” A continuation of the class will be offered February 1 and 2, which can be attended by those who have taken the first session or have previously studied this technique with Oliver.

With their move to Mesilla and the addition of the Arts & Cultural Center, a variety of classes, concerts, art exhibits, and other activities have been added to the non-profit’s offerings. DAAC Executive Director Kathleen Albers says, “What we are finding is that working artists are signing up for the Get ArtRageous! classes to experiment with different mediums or techniques like alcohol ink, jewelry making, and various painting styles. But there is also a demand for longer, more in-depth workshops. We hope this will give more work to highly-accomplished local artists as teachers and give aspiring artists a chance to learn from experts.”

She adds, “Half of the proceeds raised from this workshop will go toward improving the equipment and technology in the DAAC Arts & Cultural Center. We hope to add a computer, camera, projector, and large screen so workshop leaders can demonstrate detail as they teach.”

Albers is working with local and regional artists to develop additional in-depth classes for the first months of 2019. Following part two of the fracturing workshop, the next class on the calendar is a three-day workshop to be held February 5, 6, and 7 with Polish artist Krystyna Robbins, entitled “Paint with Depth and Texture in Oil.” The cost for this three-day workshop is $300 or $240 for current DAAC members.

Robbins was born in Scotland, raised in London, and immigrated to the United States as one of the last Ellis Island immigrants. She received her degree in commercial art from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and began a career in fashion design working at E.D. Winter and Ann Klein Fashions of New York. She teaches her own series of art workshops throughout the Southwest, Mexico, and Europe.

After moving to El Paso, she says her passion turned to capturing the charm of missions and historical structures bathed in the lights and shadows of morning and evening light. Today her work is recognized for not only her blending of realism and impressionist compositions, but her use of a rich color palette and use of depth to bring out the warmth of Southwestern and European scenes. Her work is widely represented in private, public and corporate collections.

An additional multi-day workshop will be offered February 12, 13 and 14 with Denver artist, Ms. Andy Mallen, entitled “Puppy Love (or Kitty Love):  How to Paint Your Pet”. The workshop is for all levels of artists in oil or acrylics.

Ms. Mallen is one the region’s foremost pet portrait artists and runs Canvas Canines, a special order pet portrait studio in Denver, Colorado.  You can view her work at .  According to Mallen, “Dogs, cats, bunnies, birds or goats—they all inspire my emotional spirit to paint.  I’ve been told that the way in which I paint animals’ eyes is particularly unique, well I suppose that makes sense as they are the path to the soul.”  She adds, “Whether it is because of the innocence of the animal or their intense spirit, these creatures captivate an inner sense of honesty for me.”

The cost is $200 for the two and 1/2 day workshop, or $160 for current members of DAAC, a 20 percent discount from the regular price. There is a limited space for 10 students, so early registration is encouraged.  Register at  or by calling (575) 523-6403.  A materials list will be provided upon registration.

Other upcoming workshops include:

• March 22 and 23: Carolyn Bunch, “Portraits in Pastels or Charcoal”

• March or April: Nancy Begin and Susan Hansen, “Working in Mixed Media”

• April or May: Jody O’Meara, “Watercolor on Yupo Paper”
The Doña Ana Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life, economic development and arts education in Las Cruces and the greater Mesilla Valley.  DAAC’s Arts & Cultural Center is located at 1740 Calle de Mercado in Mesilla’s Bulletin Plaza across from St. Clair Bistro. The phone number is (575) 523-6403 and the website is .

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