International Women’s Day falls on March 8th, which is a day dedicated to honoring the achievements of women. As a company that celebrates diversity and equality, especially in the workplace, NMCO wanted to help celebrate local women, specifically artists, in our community.
Last year we celebrated women entrepreneurs and businesswomen who were promoting and building our community.
For Women’s day 2020, the NMCO team dreamed up a bright vivid desert-scape. With strategic hand-painted background, dramatic lighting, and modern composition we achieved a photo project that is alive with colorful southwestern drama.
We were proud to partner up with Cruces Creatives (ran by artist Lea Wiserguy), who had a wonderful photo-lab that was the perfect spot for our shoot. NMCO creatives also collaborated with expert Make-up artist, Anahy Nuñez of Atom Bomb Studio and stylist June Robinson. With their partnerships and creativity, we transformed these artists and the Cruces Creatives photo studio into an actual neon desert. As a bonus, we even created a multi-media gif of each portrait that can be viewed on our Instagram. Make sure you pop over there to view.
Las Cruces is a city rich in art and culture, with many women helping build the industry. It wasn’t an easy task to pick 5 artists on our own so we opened up to public nomination. Get to know these women, their respective businesses and art.
And our 2020 Women’s Day photo project subjects are:
– herbalist, writer, and botanical perfumer.
Trisha is the founder and owner of Mother McCaul’s Organic Herbal Body Care, and co-owner of The Mandrake Fine Art & Botanica (a gallery, and botanica located in the historic Mesquite district).
“I am very passionate about women’s equality and the continued headway in generational equity. Through my genealogy research, I have seen countless generations of women before us who had little choice in their life paths, which were often dictated to them through societal expectations. We have made some headway, but there is still a long way to go before women from all backgrounds face a future grounded in equity, whether that’s in pay, access to healthcare and education, shared domestic work, freedom from assault and violence, and freedom of choice in life paths.”
I had so much fun at the shoot, and feel really honored to be included in a group of such diverse and artistic women and to also work with such an amazingly talented group of creatives who organized and executed it. It really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and I had such a blast.
You can follow Trisha on Facebook and Instagram on either “The Mandrake Fine Art & Botanica” or “Mother McCaul’s Organic Herbal Body Care”.
The Mandrake Fine Art & Botanica
The Mandrake Fine Art & Botanica
Katy was born in Los Angeles but immediately set down roots in the borderlands of the Southwest.
As a young adult, I investigated other geographical areas of the United States but have always been drawn home to the Southwest. I have lived in Las Cruces since 1994. I returned to school and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art with an emphasis on painting and drawing and went on to earn a Masters in Studio Art exploring assemblage and sculpture at New Mexico State University (2016). I am currently employed at a Guardian Agency and as an art instructor at the City of Las Cruces Art Museum where I teach printmaking, drawing, and watercolor.
To celebrate Women’s day is to understand and celebrate the progress women have gained over generations, and to appreciate the continued sacrifices made to achieve equality.
Generational equality as I understand it means that women still struggle to maintain and progress toward equality. The progress made has been hard-won; many obstacles remain unchanged in law and culture, women and girls remain in danger of violence at home and away, they work more while earning less, have fewer choices, and face the threat of a rollback of the progress women have achieved.
I am more of an introvert and not used to being the center of attention so the shoot was a little out of my comfort zone. The staff and artist put me at ease and the shoot made me feel very special! I was surprised to be asked. The experience was quite enchanting.
You can follow Trisha on Instagram at @katy2ndstudio.
Katy 2nd Studio
Raquel Madrigal- Artist
Raquel Madrigal is an Artist currently residing in Las Cruces, NM. She acquired a BFA at New Mexico State University in Studio Art where she made work about queerness and identity. Her art practice includes performance, sculpture, painting and digital work such as graphic design, photography, and videography.
I’ve lived a life unaware of the choices and rights a woman has in our world. For many years, I believed in the restrictions told to me by others, never crossing invisible lines that were drawn by destructive ideas. This is why it is important to spread the knowledge of Woman’s Rights and empower women of all generations. I was only able to grow and become independent from sexist ideas/restraints when other women believed in me, pushed me and lived by example. Now, we could only imagine a future that is female empowered, that values our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and ourselves.
This shoot was one of the most professional and exciting shoots I’ve ever done! There were very talented artists to work with that made the space welcoming and full of creativity. Everybody was coming up with spontaneous ideas that I just ran with. Beyond the fun, everybody gave 100%, never taking anything less than the best. I really hope to work with them again.
You can follow Raquel on Instagram at @raquelvmadrigal or visit her website. Links below.
Raquel V Madrigal
Raquel V Madrigal
-Teacher and Life Artist
Whether it is photography, poetry, painting, collage, interiors, or assemblage, I am always looking for the connections between art and the everyday. I believe art is a space where spirit speaks, and inviting that voice into our daily lives is transformative.
Women’s Day is about honoring the generations of bold women who have crafted and lived their own versions of womanhood. It is about committing to be an engaged member of a sisterhood actively working to dismantle unjust systems and transform them so that our world looks and feels more just for all women. Whether it is through art, politics, our professions, or just by living our truths and values, women are changing the trajectory of American culture.
Equality springs from truly seeing and honoring each other, and many women and girls are often unseen, underrepresented, or boxed into limiting roles or stereotypes. Equality depends on justice, and the work of justice depends on women and girls of all ages, backgrounds, and races working together to share our personal stories while collectively building our shared futures.
This photoshoot pushed me into a creative space that was new and a little uncomfortable. It invited me to play with femininity in ways I’m not used to, but I was inspired and mesmerized by the beauty and strength I saw in the other participants. The NMCO team was such a great example of how female energy and leadership are warm, powerful, and supportive. If I took anything away from this experience, it is that we need more of that in our world.
You can follow Mattie on Instagram at @newmexmattie or visit her website. Links below.
A. Billi Free
-Dj and Beat Producer
Billi Free is a Midwest-raised, Southwest-based vocalist, DJ and beat producer whose sound is rooted in an eclectic blend of Hip Hop, soul and electronica. Her newest album, I LUMA, is out now on the Tokyo Dawn Records label.
This Women’s Day and Women’s History Month has me researching the culture and structures of matriarchal societies of the past and those few that currently exist (the Mosuo of China, the village of Umoja Uaso in Kenya, etc). To me, the existence of these societies means that there may have once been a more stable balance of masculine and feminine energy on a larger scale.
It was heartening to be surrounded by such talented and powerful creatives, observing them in the midst of their work and becoming a part of their vision.
For a full list of sites & Social Media where you can follow A. Billi Free, take a look at Billi’s linktree page.
Creative Director/Art Director:
Special Thanks to:
Cruces Creatives, for lending their incredible photostudio for the shoot. This is a wonderful location for any video or photo project. Go to crucescreatives.org to book for a day or to use as needed with a membership!
Main Street Vintage Mercado is located downtown and offers a variety of palates, sandwiches and coffee. You can also find the Toucan Market near NMSU in the Pan Am Plaza.