The work of an NMSU art student will be presented in a national exhibition

Analinda Gonzalez, an art student at New Mexico State University, turned one of the most difficult experiences of her life into a hard-hitting work of art. Inspired by her father’s deportation at a young age, her painting “Separated” was selected among the 40 finalists in this year’s AXA Art Prize competition.

More than 400 entries from 125 different schools were reviewed by regional jurors from 34 major art schools and Strategic Advisory Board programs across the country, including the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University School of Arts.

Gonzalez’s works will be on display virtually and in person in New York at the New York Academy of Art in November. The 40 finalists are also in the running for a first prize of $ 10,000 and a second prize of $ 5,000 which will be selected by a jury of artists.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Gonzalez moved to El Paso following her father’s eviction when she was four years old.

“Much of my work expresses the personal impact of socio-political issues, particularly immigration,” Gonzalez said. “This play expresses the pain and perseverance caused by my father’s deportation.

“Understanding how controversial this subject is, I choose not to comment on the underlying structural problem with our immigration system, but rather to shed light on my father’s story. The image of my father portrays his initial stoicism which belies a deep sadness expressed in his eyes.

The AXA Art Prize, launched in 2017, is considered one of the leading student art competitions in the United States. The event is open to figurative paintings, drawings and prints made by undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in art classes across the country.

The 40 finalists are a diverse group of young artists from 27 different schools across the country and 60% of this year’s finalists are women.

Supported by her mentor Craig Cully, associate professor of painting and drawing at NMSU at the College of Arts and Sciences, Gonzalez submitted her painting to be considered for the award.

After three months of waiting, Gonzalez was surprised by the news.

“My first reaction was confusion because I couldn’t believe that one of my paintings was going to be exhibited in New York, the art capital of the world,” said Gonzalez. “I am truly honored and can’t wait to represent my school on this show. It’s a great opportunity for me to be exhibited and engage in the wider discourse of art. “

Sometimes Gonzalez paints for up to six hours a day in the art studio. After transferring to NMSU from El Paso Community College, Gonzalez has been part of the NMSU program for a year, but has already felt the impact of Cully’s mentorship and support from the NMSU art department.

“Craig Cully has shown great dedication in providing his students with great opportunities. I admire his strong work ethic and am inspired by his meticulous and down-to-earth style.

With the support of her teachers and the art department, Gonzalez said she had grown as an artist in no time.

“The competitive atmosphere of the art department along with the spacious new art building motivated me to push myself harder to create stronger pieces and encouraged me to use the resources provided in the department.”

After graduating next spring, Gonzalez hopes to use her talents to become a forensic artist, allowing her to use what she has learned to help others use art to cope with tragedy. .

“I am working to become a forensic artist because I want my art to have a positive impact on people’s lives. Much of my work focuses on victims and I want to help those in dire straits by using my passion for art. “

Kayleen C. Rice

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