Gallup New Deal Art

gallupARTS has received a $30,000 Digital Projects for the Public “Discovery” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 

This year, gallupARTS is working with humanities advisers, digital media professionals, and the community to design a virtual art exhibit featuring Gallup’s collection of 90+ 1930/40s New Deal/Works Progress Administration (WPA) artworks, one of the largest such collections in the State.

The old McKinley County Courthouse is a New Deal project and houses a large portion of Gallup’s WPA art collection.

Currently, Gallup’s collection of WPA architecture, Spanish Colonial-style tinwork, oak furniture, murals, prints, western American paintings, Native art and contributions to the Index of American Design is housed in four different locations which are not all open to the public. Through a multi-faceted, interpretive website, gallupARTS hopes to restore the legacy of the WPA, unifying the collection, making it widely available as an unparalleled artistic and historical resource, and using it to promote community building.


We were excited to provide the community opportunities to learn more about Gallup’s WPA art and to get involved with this project through several public programs in conjunction with this grant. Stay tuned for more such opportunities in the future!

Let’s Talk Art

Explore Gallup’s New Deal artworks from the perspectives of an artist, writer and a historian.

“Kit Carson at Canyon de Chelly” by J.R. Willis

– Diné artist Jerry Brown confronts the legacy of Santa Fe Indian School teacher Dorothy Dunn.

– Writer and educator Laura Binah Jijon takes a look at Hispanic heritage as pictured in New Deal art.

– Historian and educator Teri Fraizer revises the version of Southwestern history told through New Deal murals.

When: Thursday, August 30 from 5:30 – 7:00pm

Where: ART123 Gallery

This event is free and open to the public.

Free WPA Art Tours

One of the humanities advisers on this project and Gallup’s resident WPA archivist and expert, Carolyn Milligan, will lead a series of three public tours looking at the Library’s and County’s WPA holdings this spring. All tours are free, with no advanced registration required.

Pueblo Girl (Westwind)
Joseph A. Fleck
Oil on Canvas
c. 1930s

1. Collection Overview: The 3 Stages of WPA Art in Gallup

Learn how the WPA art project unfolded in Gallup on a tour of the highlights of the Library’s holdings. 

Saturday, March 3 from 11am – 12pm

Meet in the lobby of the Octavia Fellin Public Library.

2. Gallup’s History as told through WPA Art & Architecture

See how Gallup’s unique legacy is represented in the architecture of the old county courthouse. Then, go inside for rare look inside the courtroom at the marathon historical mural painted by Lloyd Moylan.

Monday, April 30 from 4 – 5pm

Meet in front of the new McKinley County Courthouse.

Taking Down a Finished Rug
Harrison Begay
Casein on Paper
c. 1930s

3. Native Artists & the WPA

Explore the role Native artists in the WPA art project through a look at artworks on view in the Octavia Fellin Public Library and the old county courthouse. 

Thursday, May 3 from 4 – 5pm

Meet in the lobby of the Octavia Fellin Public Library.