Fine art tourist: Anderson MUSEUM of CONTEMPORARY art (AMoCA)

After completing our overland segment through the Carson National Forest ( https://ontheroadwithmariastephen.net/2021/11/05/overland-adventure/ ) and a brief stop in Santa Fe ( https://www.instagram.com/p/CVNrZnrF7xK/?utm_medium=copy_link ) we set a course for the Texas Panhandle. Based on the travel time to our first destination in Texas, Roswell, New Mexico appeared to be a good place for an overnight stop (predicated, of course, on the availability of acceptable espresso and tea beverages.)

Roswell Mural Depicting the “Roswell Incident”

Roswell is known primarily as the location of an alleged UFO crash that took place in 1947. Strangely, the purported crash site is 75 miles from Roswell – oh well, close enough for tourism purposes. I do not want to put a damper on the UFO tourist trade (and a our little blog won’t) but the UFO was, in fact, a weather balloon!

Donald B. Anderson, Irish Castle, 2000, acrylic on canvas

From our perspective (with all due respect to UFO fans) there is a much better reason to visit Roswell. As we did a quick bit of research on the town we found a website for the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, and decided to visit the museum the morning following our arrrival.

The next morning (after coffee and tea) we set out to walk to the museum just a short distance away. We feared we had made a wrong turn along the way as the only building we could see ahead looked much more like a warehouse than the exterior of a museum. However, upon getting loser to the building there was signage indicating that the building was in fact the home of the AMoCA.

Donald B. Anderson

Donald B. Anderson, Achil Island, 1987, acrylic on canvas

We were delighted to find ourselves in a bright and colorful space with paintings covering the walls from floor to ceiling. The museum covers 22,000 square feet and is divided into twelve galleries with more than 500 artworks on display.

The photographs of the large scale landscape paintings directly above and below are by Donald B. Anderson, who was a highly successful businessman and artist. He founded the museum in order to bring more art and culture to Roswell and southeastern New Mexico. While a number of his delighful landscapes occupy one of the galleries, the museum is about much more than Mr Anderson.

Donald B. Anderson, Dark Valley, 2001, acrylic on canvas

roswell artists-in-residence (rair)

Jessica Kirkpatrick, Chora 1, 2013, oil on canvas

In addition to the museum itself, Mr Anderson created and funded the Roswell Artists-in-Residency program to bring artists from around the world to work in Roswell. The photograph above and all those below are of artworks by artists that participated in the program since its inception in the late 1960s.

Linda Long, View From My Window, 1991, oil on canvas

In 2002 the RAIR Foundation assumed full reponsibilty for the management of both the museum and the residency program. RAIR provides a full year residency and includes lodging, studio space and a stipend; over 250 artists have participated in the program since its inception.

Jerry R. West, Roswell Cotton Warehouse with Black Dog and Broken Moon, 2012, oil on linen

AMoCA is a first rate museum with a wide range of work by the artists that have benefited from RAIR. If your travels will be taking you in the vicinity of Roswell or even if you are just passing through we recommend that you visit this gem in the desert.

Brian Myers, On Borrowed Time, 1994, oil on canvas

Be seeing you.

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