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Reflections of the West Exhibit Opens August 4 in Kennedy Alumni Hall

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Duke Sundt’s bronze sculpture, “Wake Up Call,” is part of the Reflections of the West art exhibit that opens at Highlands Aug. 4.

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents the art exhibit, Reflections of the West, featuring artists such as nationally known sculptor Duke Sundt, with an opening reception Aug. 4 from 4 – 7 p.m.

The free exhibit, which coincides with Las Vegas Heritage Week, is in the university’s Kennedy Alumni Hall at 905 University Ave. It continues through Aug. 28.

“This exhibit reflects the spirit of New Mexico, which will cause some people viewing it to reflect upon their own memories and experiences of our state,” said Sundt, who also curated the exhibit. “There’s a wide variety of Western Americana subject matter such as cowboys and cowgirls at work, wildlife, landscapes and ranching life.”

Sundt said he wanted to highlight the talent of Las Vegas, New Mexico area artists in the exhibit.

The local artists include painters Kimberly Reed-Deemer and Gary Morton; photographers Elaine Querry and Scott Vail; sculptor Noble Brooks Read; and Linda McThoy Cobb’s drawings.

Other New Mexico painters featured include painters Ron Kil of Santa Fe and JaNeil Anderson of Red Rock.

“I was struck with how every artist in this exhibit is passionate about their subject matter and method of expression. I’m proud of these colleagues and their work,” Sundt said.

Many of the pieces in the Reflections of the West exhibit are available for purchase.

Sundt, 69, is best known for his bronze cowboy sculptures that have been featured in national magazines like Time and Western Horseman. The life-size bronze longhorn sculpture he created for the University of Texas Centennial made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Sundt grew up in a military family and is also known for his sculptures that honor U.S. soldiers like the massive 14-foot tall Vietnam Veterans Monument at the Texas State Capitol. His current project is a monument to the U.S. military Gold Star families whose children died during military service.

His own roots are in ranching. As a teenager, Sundt spent summers at the family ranch in Sapello Canyon near Las Vegas. After stints on the rodeo circuit and as a ranch foreman, he earned his BFA from New Mexico State University in 1972. He has lived in Las Vegas ever since.

“I was always drawn to sculpting. After working the rodeo circuit, I chose the next hardest way to make a living: being an artist,” Sundt said.

He has six tabletop sculptures in the exhibit, such as “Cow Pasture Nightingale” that depicts a cowgirl doctoring a calf, “National Anthem” with a rodeo bronc rider holding his hat over his heart during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and “The Loner” featuring a male mountain lion scanning his surroundings.

The Kennedy Alumni Hall is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.