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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Honors Art Collective gives students an artistic platform

Leah De La Torre
Artwork presented at the Honors Art Collective will be available to view until August 2024 in the WIlliam Conroy Honors College. Nov. 14, 2023

On Friday, Nov. 10, students, parents and faculty gathered at the William Conroy Honors Center to observe the opening ceremonies of the Honors Art Collective, a year-round exhibition featuring artwork created by students on campus.  

As participants filed in, they scanned codes to read the artist statements and were encouraged to vote in favor of specific artists for each award. The three awards available were the Curators Choice Award, chosen by Jessica Mercado, the People’s Choice Award and the Honors Selection Award. The artwork available ranged from sculpture to figure drawing, and all participants were given a place on the building’s walls.

This year’s Borderlands theme inspired art as diverse as the possible interpretations of the theme. Some interpreted the theme as local history, while others viewed it as the conflict between the known and the unknown, and all put their interpretations into work.  

Briana Teran, winner of the Honors Selection Award, used collage to find her voice in the Borderlands theme. In her first art piece displayed at the university level, she talked about how making the art helped her reconcile the different facets of her identity.  

Briana Teran, winner of the Honors Selection Award, stands next to her art piece titled “Dual Identity.” Nov. 10, 2023 (Leah De La Torre)

“I grew up in El Paso, Texas, and I grew up right next to the border,” Teran said. “Having family from Mexico but also being from the United States, I have struggled with my identity personally. I just feel like I have two identities constantly that battle each other. I feel like I identify more with one side sometimes, and I feel neglectful of another side. This piece I wanted to reflect both of those, but simultaneously have them together.”   

Others used the medium collaboratively, joining forces with other artists or taking part in long-term pieces. Karim Rojas worked with Mercado to create a piece combining both their artistic techniques. The duo interpreted the theme visually, using loose brushstrokes to show definitive divides and dualities in their subject.  

“The meaning of this painting is that everything in this world has meaning, and even though it dies, a new beginning comes back,” Rojas said.  

Not all featured artwork was 2D, with the other two award winners creating sculptures and 3D art to fit the theme. Curator’s Choice Award winner Ace John Garentina used ceramic to create a vase that sported resemblance to undersea creatures.  

“Ram Skull,” created by Armondo R. Almanza won the People’s Choice Award. Nov. 10, 2023. (Leah De La Torre)

Armando R. Almanza, winner of the People’s Choice Award, took a different approach to his art. His work was a painted cow skull, and it was all a part of a much longer process. The cow was raised in the NMSU pens by one student, and the skull was cleaned and treated by another. Finally, the skull came into Almanza’s hands, who painted it and entered it into the collective.  

“It was a two-year process, which makes it more than just my art,” Almanza said.  

The entire collective represents the diverse ways that students can use art to share a message and express themselves, regardless of their major or previous art experience. For many of the participants, this was their first time being on display anywhere, in the collective or otherwise.  

All artworks will be on display at the Conroy Honors Center until Aug. 2024, and is open to all students during business hours.  

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About the Contributors
Madeline Nielsen
Madeline Nielsen, Staff Writer
Madeline Nielsen is a freshman at NMSU majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. This is her first semester at The Round Up as a writer. She is excited for the learning experiences in Student Media and in college at large. She is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and graduated from St. Michael’s High School in 2023. In High School, she participated in creative writing and theater, and is excited to continue working with all facets of student media in college. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and painting.
Leah De La Torre
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sewing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.

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