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Michael Hurd of San Patricio selected for
governor's excellence in arts award
(OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE)
Read article on Ruidoso News
Michael Hurd recognized for his art and for preserving the
art of the Hurd-Wyeth family at his gallery in San Patricio
Michael Hurd, son of the late Peter Hurd and Heinriette Wyeth, both internationally known artists, will be a recipient of one of the 2016 Annual Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Arts Commission Friday announced the eight artists and major contributors to the arts who will be recipients of the awards.
“Our arts and culture make New Mexico unique, and are very important economic and tourism drivers in our state,” Martinez said. “These artists and arts supporters represent the very best New Mexico has to offer. Through the Governor’s Arts Awards, we recognize the diverse and amazing talents of these 2016 recipients, and celebrate their dedication and contributions that ensure our arts and culture are accessible to all, and that our creative industries continue to thrive.”
The 2016 Governor’s Arts Awards ceremonies are set for Sept. 23, at the St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. The ceremony will be preceded by an afternoon reception and exhibition opening from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Governor’s Gallery at the State Capitol. Both the awards ceremony and gallery reception are free and open to the public.
This year marks the 43rd annual celebration of the Governor's Arts Awards, which were established in 1974 to celebrate the extensive role that artists and their work have in New Mexico. A diverse and noteworthy list of painters, weavers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, storytellers, poets, actors, playwrights, and potters have been honored by the Governor’s Arts Awards, New Mexico’s most prestigious arts awards. Past awardees include Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Redford, George R.R. Martin, Maria Martinez, Tony Abeyta, Glenna Goodacre, Tony Hillerman, N. Scott Momaday, Tammy Garcia and Catherine Oppenheimer.
Nominations are accepted each year from arts groups and interested New Mexicans. All nominations are reviewed by a committee of the New Mexico Arts Commission, which sends its recommendations to the full commission and to the governor.
Hurd, who lives in San Patricio at the ranch and gallery where his parents painted, was selected as a major contributor to the arts.
"An accomplished painter in his own right, Michael Hurd is being recognized not only for his own impressive artistic achievements, but for his vitally important work to preserve and enhance his family’s legacy and historic property in New Mexico," according to the release from the arts commission.
The youngest son of Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth Hurd, he was born in Roswell and raised on the family’s Sentinel Ranch in the Hondo Valley. Encouraged by his father to explore pursuits other than art, Hurd studied business at Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science. He spent a year performing with the New Kingston Trio and then did a stint in Chicago selling real estate. Realizing he was “definitely not a city boy,” Hurd returned to his beloved Sentinel Ranch in the 1970s. He oversees the operations of the Sentinel Ranch and the Hurd-La Rinconada Gallery, which he designed and built.
“The scenes immortalized through Michael’s work reflect the inner soul of him,” nominator State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell of Roswell, said. “He is a true Renaissance Man whose importance to New Mexico encourages viewers to be inspired by and to drink in the beauty and colors of his timeless works of art.” Hurd works from reality, as did all the Wyeth and Hurd painters.
“The inspiration of his father’s landscape scenes and the still life compositions of his mother are evident in his work,” Ezzell said. “He doesn’t refute his heritage or the effect it has had on his work, but Michael’s style is distinctly his own.”
Hurd was very involved in the massive undertaking to relocate his father’s mural, “The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare for It,” from Houston to the Artesia Public Library, where it was dedicated in 2015. “Michael’s art is rooted in the tradition of family, a family that has produced four generations of world famous artists,” Elizabeth Stephens of the Artesia Arts and Cultural District, said. “Michael is devoted to keeping alive the art of that family. At the same time, he paints his own vision, seeing and capturing the world that he loves through his own eyes.”
Gallery owner Nedra Metteucci said Hurd is “tireless and broad thinking in his pursuit of excellence for his own painting but also in his efforts to sustain the rich artistic heritage that his family has contributed to for generations. His impeccable standards apply not only to his colorful array of paintings that capture the heart of New Mexico, but also to the arts community statewide, and he is sensitive to our museums, with a continual awareness for cultural preservation.”
The other awardees for this year’s Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts are David Bradley of Santa Fe, Artist, Painter/Mixed Media; Nicholas Herrera of El Rito, Artist, Painting/Sculpture/Mixed Media; Elodie Holmes of Santa Fe, Artist, Glass; Felix Lόpez of Espanola, Artist, Master Santero/Spanish Colonial Bultos; Jim Vogel of Dixon, Artist, Painting; Dr. Ramakrishna and Ammu Devasthali of Las Cruces, Major Contributors to the Arts; and New Mexico Magazine of Santa Fe, Major Contributor to the Arts. Hurd was quoted in the release saying he remembers as a young boy seeing publicity about his parents, artists Peter Hurd and Henrietta Wyeth, in New Mexico Magazine, and in LIFE and other notable magazines. “(LIFE has) faded away, but New Mexico Magazine remains a strong and vivid source for the great stories within our state,” he said.
This year’s Governor’s Arts Awards Selection Committee was chaired by New Mexico Arts Commissioner John Rohovec of Silver City, and included Arts Commission Chair Sherry Davis of Santa Fe; Arts Commissioners Charmay Allred of Santa Fe; JoAnn Balzer of Santa Fe; Glenn Cutter of Mesilla; as well as Michelle Laflamme-Childs, manager of the state public art program for New Mexico Arts. Loie Fecteau, New Mexico Arts Executive Director, served on the committee in a nonvoting capacity. New Mexico Arts is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and partners with the New Mexico Museum of Art in presenting the annual Governor’s Arts Awards events.