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Braceros Fed our Country During WWII...And Beyond

Farm worker sculpture by Diana LeMarbe.
Painting of a Chile Harvest by Jeri Desrochers.

Las Cruces, NM – On this edition of PUENTES, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra meets with Luna County artist, sculptor, and tile maker, Diana LeMarbre, to talk to us about a traveling art and history exhibit depicting farm laborers from Mexico who helped feed our country during World War II. These seasonal agriculture workers were called “Braceros,” in Spanish bracero is derived from the word brazo - meaning arm. In 1942, the need for farm workers brought about the creation of the “Bracero Program,” a worker permit program between the United States and Mexico.

LeMarbre became fascinated with the history of the Bracero program and to have a visual of the workers she made several prototypes. This lead to the development of the exhibit – “Braceros – Melding History and Art” opening on January 6th at 1pm starting with an oral presentation by Raymond Cobos at the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum, 301 S. Silver Avenue. Actors will portray Braceros and tell visitors about their experiences as they make their way to the Deming Art Center, 100 S. Gold Avenue where the stories will be further explored visually with the paintings of Jeri Desrochers; and sculptures by Diana LeMarbe and Richard Boutwell. The exhibit is free to the public and will run through Saturday, January 30th at the Deming Arts Center. For more information contact Diana LeMarbe at 575-544-7708 or Jeri Desrochers at 575-640-9836 or www.jerisstudio.com.

A special reception in Spanish for current farm workers in the Deming area and their families will be held on January 20th from 1-3 pm at Art Park and the Deming Art Center. For more information contact Diana Novelo at 575-545-4680. 

The exhibit will come to Las Cruces June-October 2018 at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., Las Cruces, NM. Visit www.las-cruces.org.