Rio Grande County Museum highlights local artist

RIO GRANDE COUNTY — The Town of Del Norte consists of a wide range of residents, many of whom enjoy the tightknit community, and one such resident has always shined a light on the beauty and gracious nature of the town as well as those who reside there. The Rio Grande County Museum was pleased to learn that this resident has been spending her time with a local art teacher and through these lessons, has become quite the artist.

According to a press release from the museum, “With the continuing theme of encouraging the young people in the area to participate in museum events, we are proud to announce that Amanda Black is the artist who will show during June and July.”

Black’s work will be in the gallery hallway. She is a bright young lady and a ray of sunshine to everyone around her. She has lived in Del Norte her entire life and is a definite part of the Del Norte community. She can be found helping her mother at the local quilt shop “Kathy’s Fabric Trunk” in Del Norte and her parents are Kelly and Kathy Black. Kelly Black is part of the Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Department.

Amanda Black attended school in Del Norte and Monte Vista and while in Monte Vista, she had a special friend and teacher, Ginny Silcox. A few years ago, they connected again and began painting lessons. This is something that they enjoy doing together.

Silcox is a self-taught artist, and her paintings are gorgeous. Black has done a wide variety of paintings and given many to her family members. She and Ginny can be heard giggling while painting.

When asked if she wanted to sell any of her paintings during the show, Black replied “let me think about it.”

The museum is also highlighting another exhibit that may intrigue history buffs in the area or those traveling through. The World War II exhibit will be shown at the museum for the duration of the summer and is must-see. Rio Grande Museum staff is once again continuing the theme of highlighting local youth in the exhibits that will be showing through the summer.

The World War II drawings done by Joseph Trujillo will be featured with the stories provided by research done by the museum staff. It has been an interesting concept to provide an exhibit done with the thoughts of a young man who is interested in the military. He has drawn airplanes used by the Germans and Axis powers and presents both sides of the War. His drawings include a Sherman tank, posters that reflect the patriotic themes of the period and a wonderful drawing remembering the Pearl Harbor attack.

The drawings are matted in red, white and blue. The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched the surprise attack on the then still neutral United States at the naval base at Pearl Harbor on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft including fighters, level and dive bombers and torpedo bombers.

Eight U.S. Navy battleships were present in the harbor with all being damaged. Four were sunk, three of which were raised. The Arizona remains in the harbor. It was sunk in approximately forty feet of water and the ship burned for two days. More than 900 sailors were lost on the ship. One of these sailors was Virgil S. Off who was born in Del Norte on May 24, 1911, to Simon and Mary Off. However, the family moved to Alamosa County by the 1920 census. Attempts have been made to determine the location of enlistment for Virgil.

Virgil is honored at the Courts of the Missing in Honolulu Memorial. Many stories of the World War II heroes are documented in research done by the museum staff and contained in a notebook which is with this exhibit.

The Rio Grande County Museum is located at 580 Oak St., Del Norte. For information on the musem and current hours, visit online