By Mike Cook
Artist Dennis Lujan has a new exhibition at the Tombaugh Gallery, he continues to develop the Facebook Art Magnet group he created during the pandemic and he is preparing for the sixth annual Erotica art exhibition at his home in Las Cruces. .
âFloatersâ is Lujan’s exhibition at the Tombaugh Gallery, 2000 S. Solano Drive. The show continues until October 8.
âThe idea for the Floaters show was literally in front of me,â said Lujan. âMy floaters (web-like lines and spots in the field of vision) are with me all the time. Outside and in bright rooms, they are black; in a dark environment, they are white. The floats are progressive and as they change what I see changes tooâ¦ which is probably different from what you see. The shapes are interpreted by the individual.
The âfloatsâ are made by Lujan in a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil and sharpies.
The exhibition at Tombaugh will also include some 30 recent drawings by Lujan, many of which were made in weekly online artist projects for Facebook group Art Magnet Lujan established in March 2020, as he took over as as administrator of an abandoned group.
The work of the participating artists shows “what we were creating during our isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Lujan said.
Each Friday a different word is chosen as the theme for the designs for the coming week, and participating artists could submit as many designs as they wanted based on that word. The Facebook group is now home to more than 500 designs, he said, and continues.
âWe are all connected with art,â said Lujan. “We are art magnets.”
Art Magnet is one of the many Facebook groups administered by Lujan.
âWe all want to show what we can do,â he said.
In addition to the drawings, paintings and banners, Lujan’s exhibition will include sculptures by the artist.
With concrete bases, the sculptures include a wide array of found objects like pieces of wood, television and computer components, seashells, gaskets, and even a plastic cover that sits for some time on a pavement.
From these âextravagant scrapsâ Lujan created one-of-a-kind art in spectacular colors.
Next February, Lujan plans to include 30 to 35 artists in his âEroticaâ art exhibition, which returns in 2022 after taking off in 2021 due to the pandemic.
The show became popular with art lovers and local artists who âjust had these pieces that they couldn’t show anywhere,â Lujan said. About 125 pieces will find their place in Lujan’s âshowhouseâ, with a black-and-white room and an âover-the-edgeâ green room (not to be missed!) He said.
âWe are in awe of the work,â said Lujan.
The show still includes erotic art by some longtime Las Cruces artists.
âReally? I didn’t know you were doing this stuff,â Lujan said is often his response to submissions for the show.
âI had nowhere to show it,â is the response he often hears, Lujan said.
Art began for Lujan when he was learning to write; he put flourishes on all his letters. âWe don’t write like that here,â Lujan said through his first-year teacher in Mesa, Arizona, where he grew up. But that only inspired Lujan, who said he had “always been off the beaten track ever since”.
“If you give me something,” he said in an interview with the 2017 Bulletin, “I’ll turn it into something else.”
Lujan is half Taos Tewa Indian. He attended Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on a scholarship from the Office of Indian Affairs and received a four-year degree in Commercial Art. In his spare time, Lujan was a stage designer and costume designer. He owned the Smart Move Graphics art gallery in Colorado Springs.
He was at one point a dishwasher at a very successful Mexican restaurant in Huntsville, Alabama, and owned The Gallery in Five Points in Huntsville.
Lujan was also the owner of In Effect in downtown Las Cruces.
Contact Lujan at [email protected]
The Tombaugh Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
Visit www.uuchurchlc.org/about-us/our-art-gallery and www.facebook.com/dennis.lujan. 5.