The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Art Museum will present a new pop-up exhibition, “St. Stella: Our Lady, Star of the Desert” honoring museum director Marisa Sage’s late dog Stella Sage, a beloved four-legged member of the NMSU Art Department.
The pop-up exhibition will be on display in the Mullennix Bridge Gallery inside Devasthali Hall Wednesday through Saturday between the hours of 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. through Oct. 1.
Organized by Craig Cully, an associate professor of painting and drawing, the show presents artworks inspired by the memory of Stella, the punky English bulldog who left a paw print on students, staff, faculty and members of the NMSU and Las Cruces community.
Sage rescued Stella in 2011 while she was living in Brooklyn. After serving as the “gallery assistant” for Sage’s “Like The Spice Gallery,” Stella moved with Sage to New Mexico when she accepted her position at the NMSU Art Department in 2014. Stella became an immediate everyday fixture in D.W. Williams Hall and was described as “feisty, humorful and with an innate ability to seek out those who needed a little extra love.”
“One day at school a student came up to me and said ‘are you Stella’s mom? Sometimes, knowing that I’ll see her in the building is the only thing that gets me up and here in the morning,’” Sage recalled.”
“Stella lived a life that many could only dream of, traveling the country coast to coast, acting as muse to many a talented artist, assistant to many skilled laborers and lover of any young child she could get her paws around. She died as she lived, in a blaze of glory and love.”
The art museum and art department will host an in-person reception to celebrate Stella’s life at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29 at Devasthali Hall.