Above: Last Supper by Nicolas Otero. Photograph by by Nicolas Otero.

Every year since 1974, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts has celebrated a handful of visionary New Mexicans who consistently pump their lifeblood into making the state a more beautiful and culturally vibrant place. And what better way to celebrate creativity than a massive party in the state’s capital city? Held at 5:30 p.m. on September 20, in the New Mexico Museum of Art’s St. Francis Auditorium, the awards ceremony will honor five people and one organization with documentary tributes, tear-jerking words of support, and many, many standing ovations. Be there at the free event to applaud the best of the best. And check out the awardees’ work, which will be exhibited in the Governor’s Gallery at the State Capitol through December.

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HONORING EXCELLENCE
This year’s recipients make New Mexico proud.

2019 Artists
Victor di Suvero
Poet, community organizer, publisher at Pennywhistle Press, former director of the National Poetry Association.

Marc Neikrug
Pianist, composer, artistic director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival since 1998.

Nicolas Otero
Los Lunas–based santero, award-winning participant in Traditional Spanish Market.

Roxanne Swentzell
Outstanding sculptor from Santa Clara Pueblo, founder of Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute and Poeh Cultural Center.

2019 Major Contributors to the Arts New Mexico
PBS/KNME ¡COLORES!
Weekly art series on the public television airwaves since 1989.

Lee Gruber
Longtime owner of Syzygy Tile, in Silver City, founder of the Clay Festival, now in its eighth year.