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Myth & Place Collage Workshop Series At Branigan Cultural Center

In conjunction with its new exhibition, Descansos: Love, Grief, and Faith, the Branigan Cultural Center is hosting a series of three collage workshops on successive Saturdays in November: 9, 16 and 23 at 1 pm. The programs are free and open to the public. Please register in person at the Branigan Cultural Center, or by calling 575-541-2154. Registration deadlines are the Thursday before each workshop.

Workshops will be led by local artist Dr. Ann Bowie Maxwell and will link the images in the exhibit with the ideas of place, memory, and personal and community myths. Descansos are spontaneously created personalized shrines that memorialize both the life of the one we have lost and our love for that person. Descansos make our loss visible both to those who knew the person and to those who never met him or her. Representing a place of departure, Descansos also give us a place to return. They stand as witness and as a sentinel in a sacred location.

Maxwell believes,

“we like to think of ourselves as being embodied in a place and therefore attached to and rooted to place. Our attachments live through the memories of places we carry with us. These attachments to place are frequently embellished by our imagination. This means that both the lived and the psychological experience of place is an active, ever-changing event. We rest in places in both life and death. While in life we move in and out of places according to their purposes and our wills and we depend upon our resting places to restore us.”

The three workshops are interrelated but independent, offering participants the choice of either creating a small work of art at a single workshop or coming to all three workshops and building a larger three-dimensional collage. Each workshop will include a discussion of a key aspect of memory, myth, and creation, followed by time working on a personal collage. Maxwell will bring examples of her own work, as well, to help inspire participants’ creativity.

Workshop series:

  1. November 9, 1 pm: Place and Psyche, the Mythic Experience of Place. Capture an image of a place experience and bring it to life in the form of a two or three-dimensional collage. Registration deadline: November 7

  2. November 16, 1 pm: Expand Your Myth and Bring it Forward. Go deeper into your image or create a collage representing a place. Expand the context by both editing and adding newly discovered meanings to your work. Registration deadline: November 14

  3. November 23, 1 pm: Revising Your Myth. Complete the construction of this representation of your image or create a collage representing an important place. Present your completed (or in-progress) image to other workshop participants and invited guests. Registration deadline: November 21

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at

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