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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU museum to highlight local area

Locally produced exhibits and an emphasis on the multicultural heritage of the region will be this year's focus at the New Mexico State University Museum, according to its newly appointed interim director, Edward Staski. "We're making plans for a highly successful and educational year at the museum," he said.

Staski, a professor of anthropology, said he wants to see people in the community more involved with the museum. That may entail organizing a new lecture series and including students and interested local residents in creating exhibits, he said.

Along with this local focus, the museum soon will feature the "Poeter Collection," made up of about 70 pre-Columbian ceramic items from Latin America, including Mexico. The collection was donated by Mrs. Horace Poeter of Las Cruces and will be on display by late October or early November, Staski said.

Staski also wants to integrate anthropology and sociology students and faculty with the museum's operation. This could mean featuring exhibits they produce and inviting faculty to hold classes at the museum.

Because the museum is a sub-department of sociology and anthropology, one of Staski's goals is to "maintain a good intradepartmental relationship." That includes one of his most important tasks for the year, helping the department find and hire a new permanent director.

"The department is extremely happy that Ed agreed to direct the museum this year," said Scott Rushforth, head of the sociology and anthropology department. "We are confident that the museum will move in productive directions and contribute greatly to the University's mission. His leadership is vital to this effort."

The University Museum, located in Kent Hall at the intersection of University Avenue and Solano Drive, is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The current exhibit, "Cuando Hablan Los Santos," highlights contemporary woodworking traditions from northern New Mexico and will run through Oct. 10.

Staski was appointed after the museum's former director, Marilyn Norcini, took a position with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.