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NMSU Art Department to host aikido performance as part of Eric LoPresti’s ‘Superbloom’ exhibition

The New Mexico State University Art Gallery will host an aikido performance by Eric LoPresti, Paul Forhan, head instructor of Aikido of El Paso, and Octavio Pina, from Aikikai Aikido of Las Cruces. The performance is part of LoPresti’s exhibition “Superbloom” and will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 in the University Art Gallery, 1390 E. University Ave. A panel discussion will follow the performance at 2 p.m. Both of these events are free and open to the public.


Two men in hakama perform aikido for a group.
Local aikido practitioners perform at the New Mexico State University Art Gallery as part of the ongoing programming for the current exhibition “Superbloom.” (Courtesy Photo)

Aikido originated in Japan in the 14th century and was modernized in the early 20th century. Due to the negativity surrounding violence at the end of World War II in 1945, the majority of all martial art dojos were shut down. Aikido managed to survive and was imported to the U.S. shortly after the war. The martial art developed from the concept that “one strike from aikido can kill” to now the concept of “the way of harmony.”

LoPresti is a New York based artist who began practicing aikido 25 years ago. As someone whose paintings examine the effect that nuclear testing has had on the American southwestern landscape, aikido has greatly influenced his artistic direction.

On Thursday Nov. 29, invited NMSU students will be participating in a creative workshop intended to prepare them to participate in the panel discussion on Dec 1. The workshop will be focusing on a technique called “design thinking.” Using this tactic, students will collaborate with artists and students from other areas of study to analyze various topics, such as, human-created forces of destruction, natural forces, the apocalyptic sublime, modern day environmentalism, the ethics of cyber and bio weapons and the U.S. involvement in the Cold War.

The “Superbloom” panel will be recorded and available for viewing on the University Art Gallery website at https://uag.nmsu.edu.

For more information on these events contact University Art Gallery Director Marisa Sage at misage@nmsu.edu or 575-646-2545.