Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Anne C. James
For Immediate Release, August 30, 2004
Interior Museum to Exhibit "Plein-Air" Painters of El Paso

WASHINGTON -- Paintings, pastels, and charcoal sketches by artists who live and delight in the varied landscape of the Chihuahuan Desert are on display beginning September 13, 2004, at the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum in the exhibit, Along the Rio Grande: the Plein-Air Painters of El Paso.

Highlighted in the exhibit are works by eleven artists who capture the changing river in changing light. The artists work out-of-doors, or as the French say "en plein air," to render the momentary effects of shifting clouds and sunlight. The exhibit continues on view at the museum through December 10, 2004.

The 20 contemporary works of art come to the Interior Museum from the Los Paisanos Gallery at El Paso's Chamizal National Memorial. The National Park Service site interprets the peaceful settlement of the century-long border dispute

Credit:Corinne Abeyta-Spinnler, Ocotillo, 2004

between the United States and Mexico, a dispute that began when the Rio Grande changed its course. Chamizal National Memorial hosts performances, exhibits, educational festivals and events to promote cross-cultural understanding.

The El Paso artists exhibited here celebrate a sense of place and time. Corinne Abeyta-Spinnler paints the muted colors of the river valley punctuated by the red blooms of the Ocotillo plant. Vivid, deep green rows of cotton draw viewers into a scene of fields flanked by a pecan orchard in Krystyna Robbins' oil painting, "Cotton Along the River". The dappled grey light falling on the nearby farmhouse seems the perfect counterpoint to the foreground's lush colors. Sunset's vibrant hues are rendered by Julie Ford Oliver, while Candy Mayer

Credit:Krystyna Robbins, Cotton Along the River

captured dawn's intensity in her pastel entitled, "Technicolor Franklins." The Franklin Mountains run north to south throughout the region.

The public is invited to attend the exhibit's opening reception at the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum on Tuesday, September 13, 2004. Remarks by National Park Service officials will be followed by refreshments and an artist's demonstration. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the museum's Curator of Education at 202-208-4659.

The Interior Museum educates the public and Department of the Interior employees about the current missions and programs of the Interior

Credit:Julie Ford Oliver, Sunset on the Rio Grande

Department, the history of the agency and the art and architecture of its headquarters building. The Interior Museum is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except Federal holidays) and the third Saturday of each month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Adult visitors must present a form of photo identification (such as a driver's license, student ID, or employment card) when entering the Main Interior Building at 1849 C Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. Wheelchair access is available at the 18th and E Streets entrance. For more information, call 202-208-4743.










Credit: Candy Mayer, Technicolor Franklins



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