Growing up on a farm, Carlitta Harvey’s inspiration and foundation as an artist were cultivated at an early age.

Harvey began painting farm scenes when she was old enough to buy her own watercolors. Coming from four generations of farmers, and marrying a cattle rancher, her love of the rural life is apparent in her paintings.

Her artwork is featured in a new exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. “Life in Rural New Mexico: Paintings by Carlitta Harvey” opens in the Museum’s Arts Corridor with a reception from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17. Admission to the reception is free, but regular admission applies to the rest of the Museum.

As a young person, the Las Cruces artist lived on a farm and helped grow cotton, onions, and other crops. She became a landscape architect, studying horticulture and healing gardens. This knowledge allowed her to capture the character of the crops she paints and to acknowledge the benefits of green and growing plants for the health of body and soul. Her realistic style attempts to document the beauty and abundance of the agricultural and cultural landscape of New Mexico from planting to harvest. She frequently creates her work “plein air,” outdoors on site.

There are 23 paintings in the show, which will be on display through April 1, 2023.

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