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Thu, Apr 01


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A Fiery Light: Will Shuster’s New Mexico

After Carlsbad Caverns was designated a National Monument in 1923, painter Will Shuster was one of the first artists to capture the magnificence of the caves. The following year, he and fellow artist Walter Mruk visited Carlsbad Caverns, where they were lowered into the caverns by bucket.

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A Fiery Light: Will Shuster’s New Mexico
A Fiery Light: Will Shuster’s New Mexico

Time & Location

Apr 01, 2021, 6:00 PM MDT – Jul 25, 2021, 6:00 PM MDT

Zoom registration link below.

About the Event

Shuster and Mruk painted by the light of lamps. Shuster wanted to capture the geology of the caverns in a vibrant, technicolor fashion.

When the New Mexico Museum of Art (MOA) displayed the Carlsbad paintings in 1925, a reviewer called them the “most extraordinary paintings shown here in a decade.” Shuster and Mruk’s were among the earliest artistic renderings of Carlsbad Caverns, the beauty and majesty of which has continued to enchant generations.

A Fiery Light: Will Shuster’s New Mexico,” currently on exhibit at the museum through July 25, 2021, includes works from artist’s time at Carlsbad Caverns. The exhibition also explores the legacy he developed in Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico, emphasizing the artistic relationships he forged throughout the state.

To give visitors a deeper look at the exhibition, MOA will host a livestream talk via Zoom, featuring curator, artist, and caver Lois Manno at 6 p.m. MDT on April 1, 2021. The author of “Visions Underground: Carlsbad Caverns through the Artist’s Eye,” Manno will explore the long history of artists working at Carlsbad Caverns, including Shuster. Christian Waguespack, curator of “A Fiery Light,” will also be in attendance to add his expertise to the discussion.

Viewers will also be treated to some of the current artistic and conservation work going on at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. A long-time volunteer with Carlsbad Caverns, Manno is a Fellow of the Cave Research Foundation, a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, and a founding member of the Society’s Fine Arts Salon. She has also served as the Director for the Cavern Arts Project with Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

The talk will also be available to stream live on MOA’s YouTube.

Date: April 1, 2021 Time: 6 p.m. MDT

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