As our trip was coming to a close, we were determined to make the most of the last days of our Western Tour. From Albuquerque to Roswell to Lubbock, our day was sure to be packed full of fun!
We got an early start to give us time to have breakfast at the Golden Crown Panderia per Professor Yawn’s recommendation. The boys all got coffee milkshakes, while Kaitlyn had a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate. For our meal, we each sampled a different flavor of empanadas. From cherry to sweet potato, we enjoyed sampling the different savory and sweet flavors.
Our breakfast was a welcome change from our traditional hotel breakfast.
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
We scouted out the sculpture garden the night before, but we were in for a couple of surprises during our visit to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. We began our tour of the museum in the traveling exhibit called “Border Crossing” which captured the lives of immigrants who crossed the border illegally. The exhibit included photography, found object art, and paintings.
We were not familiar with many of the artists but we did know Luis Jimenez, a Texas native, who we have seen many times throughout this trip.
He had an art piece named El Buen Pastor (The Good Shepherd) and his description told a sad story about an immigrant boy killed near the border.
Our next exhibit was more or less contemporary and included some local names such as Raymond Johnson, Allan Houser, and Peter Hurd.
As we made our way to the end of the exhibit we discovered a beautiful cross by Georgia O’Keeffe! The third exhibit was “Art and Politics” which included political cartoons, an Andy Warhol, and photographs from political events.
It was interesting for us because of our majors and our love for the arts. After looking through the exhibit we headed outside for a day time tour of the sculpture garden.
We saw pieces by Luis Jimenez, Jesus Moroles, Allan Houser and Glenna Goodacre. Overall the museum was a great addition to our trip!
Shopping in Old Town Albuquerque
Unfortunately, Ryan had to fly back to Houston to get ready to go back to school at the University of Arkansas. While Professor Yawn took Ryan to the airport, we walked through the shops and streets of Old Town Albuquerque.
The little shops were filled with Native American homemade goods, clothing, and trinkets. Our favorite shop was the local artist co-op. Professor Yawn joined us and we browsed around finding unique gifts and souvenirs. Once we finished shopping we had to hurry back to our hotel afterwards to grab our bags and head to Roswell for the afternoon.
Roswell Museum and Art Center
The Roswell Museum of Art was a new experience for our entire group so we did not know what to expect. By the end of our visit we were pleasantly surprised! The Roswell Museum of Art had their RAiR at 50 exhibit up which showcased 50 years of the Roswell’s Art in Residency Program. The artwork ranged from paintings to sculptures and even a pinball machine!
One of my favorite pieces of art from the museum was Chavez Ravine V by: Clinton Adams. The piece had a strong emphasis on geometric shapes and told a story about the immigrant community harmed by the development of the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium where their neighborhood was.
We didn’t recognize many of the artists, but we did recognize some well-known artists such as Elmer Schooley and Peter Hurd!
Elmer Schooley was a new artist for us during the trip, but we all grew to enjoy his art work! Known for repeating patterns, we were able to recognize his works at the Roswell Museum and we found it interesting that he was actually a resident of Roswell’s program.
Before leaving the Roswell Art Museum, we made sure to find the collection of Luis Jimenez paintings…
…and we also visited his sculptures.
Well known to the LEAP Ambassadors, we love his use of color and Jimenez’s unique style. Our visit to the Roswell Art Museum was short, but we wanted to visit Roswell’s most famous museum during our brief visit also. We drove a half mile before finding ourselves at the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
International UFO Museum and Research Center
The story goes that in July, 1947, a family of farmers near Roswell, New Mexico, were witnesses to a mysterious aircraft crash landing near their home. This spooky occurrence sent the nation to a science-fiction whirlwind after rumors spread that what landed that summer evening was an extraterrestrial spaceship. More than fifty years after the incident, the LEAP Ambassadors decided to make our on conclusions on the Roswell UFO landing by visiting the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
As with the rest of the town, the façade of the building is riddled with alien motifs, adorned with alien statues, cutouts, posters, and the like. However, this fascination with otherworldly creatures was manifested with increased intensity inside the museum.
Inside, every inch of wall is dedicated to retelling and interpreting the alleged Roswell UFO incident of July 1947. Witness accounts of extraterrestrial beings lying still in the ground amongst metallic debris are posted throughout the museum. Furthermore, reports that present supposed evidence that the vessel that was recovered that summer was not from this world are also presented to the visitors of the center.
But if transcripts of police reports are enough to properly imagine the beings that were seen falling that day, the museum also offers a possible depiction of what the vessel and its crew looked like. Accordingly, we decided to photograph ourselves in front of this artistic rendition of events to make sure to not forget this Roswellian legend.
What we found the most intriguing in the museum was not the cast of the alleged alien mandible, nor was it the aluminum scraps that were recovered from the crash, it was the interpretation of ancient civilization’s “encounters with extraterrestrials.” Among the most notable was a Mayan petroglyph that UFO researchers consider evidence that this South American tribe had access to alien space crafts. They offer explanations to the various etchings in the stone. These vary from carvings that represent the brakes and throttles of the space ship, to the “comfortable head rest” of the craft.
This is only one example of the evidence presented by the museum that proves that humans have been in contact with aliens. However, this proof is abundant within the walls of the International UFO Museum and Research Center. There is so much proof, that we could not go through it all with the required scrutiny it required since we had limited time in the museum. As we exited the building, we could not resist to take a quick photo with our newest green friends from outer space.
Knowing a little bit more about extraterrestrial history and its relationship with Roswell, we left town and headed back to Texas (hopeful that no mysterious light would send us into space of course).
So from there, we drove eastward, toward home, ending the night in Lubbock ready for some sleep and our last day of exploration.