Western New Mexico University Cultural Affairs will present a retrospective exhibition by Edwina Milner at the Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art. The public is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, October 4, 2018, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit, called “Seeing it Her Way: The Artistic Journey of Edwina Hawley Milner” will remain up through Saturday, November 3, 2018.
The opening coincides with the Silver City Art Association’s Annual Red Dot Weekend at the Galleries, and refreshments will be available from The Duck Stop food truck.
Milner’s sustained art practice is represented in this exhibition with an array of drawings, paintings and mixed-media artworks that she created over more than 65 years. “These works embody the joy of art and art-making and also hold the life lessons of a person who always sees the glass as half full,” said Faye McCalmont, WNMU’s Special Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs.
In this exhibition, guest curator James Rutherford traces Milner’s artistic journey from her college days in Austin, through the Houston art scene in the 60s and 70s, and to her return to the studio at 80 years old.
McCray Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to see illustrations Milner created for newspaper advertising, theatrical costumes, mixed media works from her mid-career, and more recent abstract paintings and collages. “I want people to look at my art and feel good,” Milner said.
Milner’s art is informed by her hardscrabble early childhood in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Her talents were revealed at an early age. “Art was something the whole family did, so I probably inherited my artistic abilities. My mother was quite good in art and had taken a lot of art classes. My father’s family are Chickasaw and would bring their art projects to reunions,” Milner said.
Milner’s support of other artists and arts programing has been a cornerstone of her own artistic life. “At one time, I was on eight museum boards here in Santa Fe,” she notes.
Her support of the arts was recognized in 2006 when then New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson presented Milner with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts — a rarified honor reserved for the state’s top artists and patrons. More recently, Milner and her husband Charles have focused their philanthropy on the New Mexico School for the Arts and on support of women in the arts programming at WNMU.