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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

Research and Creativity Week opens with talk from renowned artist

Photo courtesy of NMSU News
Speaker Celia Alvarez Muñoz opens Research and Creativity Week for the 2024 year. Feb. 26, 2024

On Feb. 26, the ASNMSU Center for the Arts gathered to find answers to one seemingly simple question: why shouldn’t you make art in your kitchen?  

The question has a few answers, but keynote speaker Celia Álvarez Muñoz came prepared to not only provide answers of her own but to also guide listeners on how to craft their respective answers.  

Muñoz is a renowned artist and photographer who draws from her experiences growing up near the US-Mexico border, using mixed media to make art that ranges from the size of a book to the filling of entire rooms.  

So, why shouldn’t you make art in your kitchen? 

Renowned artist Celia Álvarez Muñoz’s work was showcased at NMSU’s Devasthali Hall from Oct. 20, 2023 to March 2, 2024. (David Castañeda)

“Let’s start by thinking big,” Muñoz began.  

Over the course of the next hour, Muñoz talked through her life as an artist, aided by slides displaying her work that slowly becoming more relevant. Beginning with recent work and then working through her earliest pieces, Muñoz talked through her career as her pieces got larger.  

Initially beginning with art books and then venturing into public and conceptual art, Muñoz’s projects have now grown to be displayed in locations across the country, including the Devasthali Hall University Art Museum.  

“She has cultivated an art practice filled with playful storytelling, puns, and wordplay, all of which regular address the experiences of living in the physical, psychological, and political border zone,” Eva Gabriella Flynn, Outreach Coordinator of the University Art Museum said.  

While a life in the borderlands influences much of Muñoz’s work, she made it clear that it is not the only thing that has made her or anyone a successful artist. As she progressed through her career stages, she began to collaborate with more artists, and this collaboration is part of the reason she expanded into large-scale works.  

“I chose conceptual art where ideas are the drivers to explain and provoke thinking,” Muñoz said, and went on to explain how her early life and later collaborations influence her art.  

Guests admire and talk about Celia Álvarez Muñoz Enlightenment #1 1980 on March 2, 2024 (David Castañeda)

This element of collaboration stuck with listeners, many of which agreed that it is another answer to the question of why you should not make art in your kitchen.  

“It’s a really interesting application of her artistic ideas and working with the world and the people around her to bring those artistic ideas into reality even when she doesn’t have the skills, but she knows someone who does and she has the interpersonal skills to be able to create those things,” said sophomore Sasha Meston-Ward.  

As the talk concluded with final words from Muñoz encouraging creativity, research, and collaboration, viewers moved to Devasthali Hall for the reception. During the reception, attendees were encouraged to peruse Muñoz’s exhibit.  

The event kicked off the 2024 Research and Creativity Week hosted by the University and marked the end of Muñoz’s display at the museum. Her display, Breaking the Binding, officially closed on March 2, but those interested in seeing her work can find it on display at museums throughout the Southwest.  

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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.
David Castañeda
David Castañeda, Multimedia Director
David Castañeda is starting his second year here at The Round Up, this being his first year as Multimedia Director. This is his second year at New Mexico State University and is majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. He was born and raised in El Paso, Texas as an only child but is extremely happy to be able to call Las Cruces his new home. David has had an affinity for photography since he was in elementary school and has only fallen deeper in love with the art through this job. Though David enjoys nothing more than to be behind a camera he loves to try to explore new hobbies and career options. He’s currently focused on improving his photography at The Round Up and working with the Multimedia Specialists to make the Multimedia team the best it can be. When he isn’t taking photos or editing them on Photoshop, David loves to spend his time with his 3-year-long girlfriend in their apartment where they frequently cuddle up in bed to watch some trash TV and films. On his own, he loves to play the bass and listen to music. His favorite artists are The Strokes and Gorillaz.    

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