FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2021
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 and 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
Link to register: https://nmculture-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_N7m8d5xYTY6ouVdWnAOE_A
About The New Mexico Museum of Art
The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Programs and exhibits are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its donors. The mission of the Museum of Art is to create authentic experiences that foster a deeper understanding and enjoyment of art throughout our state. With a collection of more than 20,000 pieces of work, the museum brings the art of the world to New Mexico and the art of New Mexico to the world.