With school art programs across the country and state struggling to stay afloat due to dwindling funds, the University of New Mexico is giving young artists another outlet to showcase their artwork.
The university is playing host to nearly 100 pieces of art, created by students from all over the state with the UNM Young Artists Exhibition.
It’s giving students in grades 6-12 the chance to show their work in a venue with a large audience.
“Students just don’t get enough opportunity to show their work outside of the school setting. We just want to give young artists another opportunity to show their work in a professional setting,” said Karen Mazur, manager of Masley Gallery.
Mazur said they made the call out to students at public, private, and charter schools in the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho area, as well as Santa Fe and Los Alamos.
With this being their first show, Mazur said they had no idea how many entries they would get, but the response was overwhelming.
Mazur said they received over 250 entries, but only had space for 85 pieces of artwork, making the exhibition highly competitive.
“It was hard. There was a jury of myself and three other art educators; two from here at UNM, one from the community. There was a lot of really good work. We started from the top and choose a few pieces from each category,” said Mazur.
Aside from wanting to give these young artists experience, Mazur said they wanted to fill the void after hearing the metro art show typically put on by APS is being scaled down significantly this year.
The exhibition is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can be found in the Masley Art Gallery in Masley Hall of UNM until December 7. That’s when they’ll hold the awards ceremony and reception, which is also open to the public.
Awards will be given in the categories of painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, photography, graphic design, printmaking, and video.