Since 1974, New Mexico has honored its artists and arts supporters with the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Over the years, the formidable list of recipients has included visual and performing artists, writers, poets, cultural institutions, and major donors who’ve made significant contributions to New Mexico’s artistic legacy. Former recipients include author George R.R. Martin, actor and director Robert Redford, poet N. Scott Momaday, art critic Lucy Lippard, photographer Laura Gilpin, and many other trailblazers who’ve helped shape a thriving cultural scene that continues to draw artists and visitors to the region year after year.
This year’s awardees include poet, publisher, and community organizer Victor di Suvero; pianist and composer Marc Neikrug; Santero Nicolás Otero of Los Lunas; Santa Clara Pueblo sculptor Roxanne Swentzell; major contributor to the arts ¡COLORES! from New Mexico PBS/KNME; and individual contributor to the arts Lee Gruber.
Each recipient is nominated by an individual or organization. Anyone can submit a nomination. A committee of New Mexico Arts Commission members reviews the submissions and makes recommendations to the governor, who makes the final selection. The program is managed by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.
The 46th annual Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, inside the New Mexico Museum of Art’s St. Francis Auditorium (107 W. Palace Ave.). Preceding the ceremony, join the awardees for a 4:30 p.m. public reception in the museum’s courtyard. In addition, visit the Governor’s Gallery on the fourth floor of the State Capitol (490 Old Santa Fe Trail) from 2 to 4 p.m. to see an exhibit of the recipients’ work. The exhibit is on view through Feb. 20, 2020. All of these events are free.
Read more about this year’s roster of cultural pioneers and luminaries in the following pages, and celebrate their lasting contributions to the arts of New Mexico.