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Carla's paintings on exhibit

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
As you may know, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration (WPA) (later known as the Work Projects Administration). It put to work millions of people (mostly young men) building, repairing, and upgrading streets and roads, bridges, and pubic buildings

Improbably enough, a national organization of woman's clubs clubs successfully lobbied the WPA to put the building of "clubhouses" for local woman's clubs in their program, arguing that this would support valuable civic activities. In fact, three such were built in New Mexico, including one in Alamogordo, where Carla and I have lived since 2012. It was built at the edge of our "downtown", in Pueblo Revival style. We see fairly a fairly recent picture of it here:


The main building is devoted to a large meeting and event space. The side wing contains a kitchen, rest rooms, offices, and storage rooms.

The Alamogordo Woman's Club was, at the time, a vibrant organization and indeed an important civic force. But over the years, changes in societal and economic realities caused it to fade until it was no longer viable. Through some sequence of events of which I am uncertain, the building eventually ended up in the hands of Otero County, which essentially kept it boarded up (metaphorically) for a number of years.

A few years ago, a group of area citizens formed Otero Arts. Inc., a nonprofit organization whose initial mission was to have this building renovated and made into a venue for a range of arts. This happened, and now the organization rents the building (known now as "Otero ArtSpace") from the county. They receive a stipend from the City of Alamogordo based on the number of volunteers hours logged in the upkeep and operation of the facility., and are eligible for various grants

It is busy all the time, hosting various showings of the visual art of local artists; performing arts (the musical play Carla and her son Larry were in in May of this year was performed there); musical concerts in a wide range of genres, and the like.

Carla is a member of the organization.

A while ago, the organization began planning a showing of visual arts work by the members, to open on this past November 3. Carla decided this would be a good opportunity for her to exhibit some of her acrylic paintings. The organizing committee said that, owing to the great interest in this exhibition, the artists would only be invited to show two of their works each. They asked Carla to submit photos of five works she would like considered, and she did. The committee selected two of perhaps the most colorful of those works, "Cherokee Still Life" and "Mi Casa Es Su Casa" (both of which you have seen).

At a preview for the exhibitors last Wednesday, Carla was thrilled to find that her works had been mounted in the best imaginable location: on the panel that one first saw when entering the hall.

The exhibition opened On November 3 with a gala reception, which was well attended. Her works were a clear hit, with the visitors jostling to get a view of them. Here we see the two works as hung:


Here, for context, we see the other end of the exhibit hall, where the founder of the organization was making some opening remarks.


On the left we see Carla's son Larry's wife Nona (in the pink) and Larry (with his Cherokee ponytail).

Each work was to be available for purchase, with a stated sale price. Partway through the evening, a man approached here and told her that he wanted to buy "Mi Casa Es Su Casa". We later found out that it was one of only two works that had sold that night.

The exhibition will be up through the rest of this month.

Here we see Carla proudly showing the red dot marking the work as "sold":


Needless to say, I was extraordinarily proud of Carla for this achievement. And she was just thrilled!

Best regards,