“Common Ground” Explored by Hillsboro and Kingston Artists over Labor Day

Black Range artist David Farrell
Posted on August 28, 2013 in ,
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Kingston NM
Show Dates: August 31-November 1, 2013
Opening Reception: August 30 from 5-8pm

In the foothills of the Black Range, the villages of Hillsboro and Kingston, New Mexico are linked by history, the meandering Percha Creek, and nine scenic miles of Highway 152.

The historic Percha Bank Museum and Gallery in Kingston is pleased to exhibit a new collection of local artists’ work.

A raging forest fire in the Gila National Forest caused Highway 152 to be closed much of this summer.

When Kingston was evacuated June 10, most residents relocated temporarily in nearby Hillsboro.  This brought the communities even closer together, providing insights into others’ lives, creating new friendships and connections, and inspiring more than one creative project. In its midst, we received a natural history education. The fire brought hardship, towering workloads for some, and various forms of personal derailment. And yet, it also produced new reasons to love living here.

Common Ground celebrates the varied reasons. The common ground we share is the land, and the sense that living here feels right.  As they will, artists interpret for us.  At its foundation, art is nothing less than a gift for others. The work of six artists will be shown: Melody Sears, David Farrell, Matilde Holtzwarth, Nolan Winkler, Dee M. Holen, and Jan Haley. We are most pleased to present this show.

Common Ground

The scenic “Black Range Highway,” built in the 1930s by the CCC, is now open again, along with mountain trails and forest campgrounds.  Monsoon rains have been mostly kind. The land, with some parts severely burnt, greens with each passing day. Wildflowers and late summer birds grace the hillsides, with cattle grazing luxuriously on good grass, and more to come.

Much has changed with the fire and subsequent flooding, renewing awareness that life is lived with change as the only constant, be it rapid, or be it slow.  While the fire burned in a mosaic pattern, leaving groves of green and untouched forests, many ridges and canyons are charred to ashes, and will not look the same in our lifetimes. Along the Percha Creek the flood washed away grassy meadows, leafy groves, and thousands of rocks. The creek is left to run over great expanses of bare white bedrock or through equally great expanses of newly transported boulders. While it looks unfamiliar, it is still beautiful, and it is still where we live. We reflect on the summer that is now coming to a close, a summer of radical change, growth and renewal.

Those planning overnight stays in order to take in Hillsboro’s production of the Fountain Trial at the Hillsboro Community Center, and other Hillsboro events, can contact the the Enchanted Villa in Hillsboro or the Black Range Lodge in Kingston. In addition to Hillsboro’s events, both communities have produced walking tours. Nights will be moonlit. For more information about Labor Day events visit:

Driving directions: from Interstate 25 take exit 63 onto Highway 152 to mile marker 40 (miles are in descending order), bear right onto Kingston Main Street. Historic Percha Bank is located 1/4 of a mile up Main Street, on the left, across from the fire station.

Contact: Susan Roebuck 575-895-5112

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