Todd Christensen

Todd Christensen

Las Vegas, N.M — New Mexico Highlands University faculty and staff are stepping up to donate original artworks for ArtBark, the April 19 art auction benefit for the Animal Welfare Coalition Animal Shelter in Las Vegas.

ArtBark will be from 4 — 7 p.m. at the United World College — USA in the Kluge Atrium Gallery. The campus is just off Highway 65 in Montezuma. The bidding closes at 6 p.m. for the silent auction.

There will be appetizers and tours of the legendary Montezuma Castle at the benefit, as well as UWC students performing musical pieces. The cost is $10.

Highlands University fine arts professor Todd Christensen is donating a color woodcut image of a bird nest for ArtBark. Christensen is an award-winning printmaker who has exhibited his artwork throughout the country and internationally at shows in Berlin and Manakau, New Zealand.

“I enjoy being able to help out with good causes and donating my art is one way I can do that,” Christensen said. “I think it’s important that we have an organization like the Animal Welfare Coalition in our community. The work the coalition does for local animals is great.”

Others from Highlands donating artwork for ArtBark include fine arts professor David Lobdell, media arts professor Kerry Loewen, University Relations director Sean Weaver, HU-Foundation communications specialist Corie Weaver, and fine arts alumnus Aaron Juarros.

In all, more than 40 New Mexico artists are donating their work for ArtBark. Some other local artists giving their work for the cause include David Escudero, Diane Moreno, Amber MacLean, Kim Reed-Deemer, Rick Mobbs, Meredith Britt, Marti Nash, and Colin Lanham.

The art pieces include paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry and more.

The Animal Welfare Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. AWC began operating the Las Vegas Animal shelter in September 2013 and provides services to lost and unwanted pets from across San Miguel County.