What is the Franciscan Fine Arts Festival?

Our Mission

The Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts began in 2005, as an outreach of the Holy Cross Retreat Center.  The desire is to promote art in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, support local artists, and provide income to the Retreat Center.  The festival includes both religious art as well as a variety of other types of fine art.  Starting with 25 artists, the festival in recent years welcomes about 90-100 artists and food vendors on the weekend before Labor Day each year.  The festival was originally all outdoors in the courtyard.  In recent years, many artists also use individual rooms or conference rooms to display their creative works.

This year in 2020, as a result of the impact of the corona virus, we are unable to gather as a group.  Therefore, an online version of the festival is available.  In place of walking through the booths, you can peruse samples of various artists, then contact them to consider one of the pieces displayed or something else they offer.  You can then arrange payment directly with them, all safe from the potential threat of the virus.c.

We hope that you will enjoy this new format and continue to promote an appreciation for good art, support the artists who have limited opportunities to sell their work, and help sustain the Holy Cross Retreat Center for years to come!

If you have any questions or concerns please contact  us and we will assist.

Fr. Tom Smith OFM Conv.  Director of Holy Cross

Where we started…

The Holy Cross Retreat Center welcomed people for the first events in 1957.  From the very beginning, besides have retreats of all kinds, Holy Cross has almost always had Festivals of some kind.  In the early years there were barbecues, with a festive atmosphere.    Following the barbecues the Franciscan Friars and their friends started a Craft Festival in about 1960.

Our Team

Fr. Tom Smith

Fr. Tom Smith OFM Conv is a Franciscan and has been the director of Holy Cross Retreat Center since 2010. He has experience in parish ministry, outreach to Spanish speaking immigrants, and retreat ministry. He also plays guitar and enjoy gardening.

Debbie Moore

Business Manager

Debbie Moore worked with the Diocese of Las Cruces in various capacities until joining the staff of Holy Cross in 2014 as the business manager and in human resources. She brings a personal interest in all aspects of our presence and encourages both Franciscan hospitality and social justice concerns.

Margaret Flores

Program Coordinator

Margaret Flores became the program coordinator in 2016 after working in finances with the Diocese and parishes in the area. She is very adept at scheduling groups and individuals who comes to the Center. She is also the primary contact for registering for the art festival, and can assist as needed.

A Special Year

We appreciate your interest in finding artwork for yourself or perhaps as a gift for someone else.  Art draws on the creative spirit both in the artist as well as those who view the pieces.  Hopefully, it will also inspire each of us to see beyond the casual appearances to sense the depth of beauty around us.

Holy Cross Retreat Center opened its doors in 1957 as a desert oasis of prayer, personal growth, and hospitality near Las Cruces, NM.  While focusing on Catholic spirituality, the center welcomes all people in groups or as individuals at our hermitage.  We extend a Franciscan welcome to those recuperating from medical procedures, immigrants, and those needing temporary shelter.

The proceeds of the Festival, especially during this year of the virus when so much has been canceled, provide needed income to continue this important mission and outreach.  As many of you know, the Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts is the major fundraising event sponsored by Holy Cross Retreat Center each year.   During the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot sponsor mass gatherings and so our on-site Festival had to be canceled at a time when raising funds for the Retreat Center is vital to continue our operations.  The artists we partner with, many of whom have been with the Festival for years, are also suffering economic hardship during the pandemic.

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