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Bonnett, Martinez Win Art Scholarships


Bonnett, Martinez Win Art Scholarships

New Mexico Highlands University fine arts students Rachelle Bonnett and Mark James Martinez were awarded Lorraine Schula Outstanding Art Student Scholarships for fall semester.
The two seniors were selected for the $1,900 scholarships based on the high quality of their portfolios, and their involvement in the fine arts program both in and out of the classroom.
“Both these students are showing great progress in their work, and their potential as artists,”
said fine arts professor David Lobdell, “Rachelle identifies with nature so well in her art in both the mediums of sculpture and ceramics.
“Mark builds custom motorcycles. He takes ordinary motorcycle parts like hand grips and foot pegs and turns them into unique works of art,” Lobdell said.
Bonnett,  22, is a senior in the BFA program, with emphasis in sculpture and ceramics. The Juneau, Ala. native also studied art at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.
Bonnett says she was drawn to Highlands by the small professional BFA program, with its individual attention for art students. She was also motivated by the affordable tuition.
“I’m taking molds off of natural found objects like deer antlers and seashells, and casting them in iron, aluminum and bronze,” Bonnett said. “I’m also casting directly from lightweight organic objects like sunflowers and yucca buds, creating exact replicas primarily in iron.
“David Lobdell is one of the masters of pouring iron for art, and it’s been a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow as an artist by working in the Highlands art foundry,” Bonnett said.
She has shown her work in art shows in Juneau since 2007. Locally, Bonnett has had two solo shows at the Traveler’s Café, and exhibited at the Las Vegas 175th Anniversary Art Show.
For her BFA show in May 2012, Bonnett will combine her iron art pieces inspired by nature with 6-foot-tall ceramic figures she’s producing of women spirits with roots in Native American culture.
Bonnett volunteers at the Tapetes de Lana Weaving Center in Mora and is the president for the Highlands University Crossroads Art Club. 
Las Vegas, N.M. native Mark James Martinez, 33, has a double major in the BFA program and history.  His art emphasis is sculpture and printmaking, with a print in the current El Zocolo Gallery show.
He’s also earning a minor in secondary education so he can teach art or history.
Martinez puts his own personal touch on every-day motorcycle parts by molding and casting one-of-a-kind art pieces like tank badges and brake levers.
“My dad, Mark Martinez, had a motorcycle shop in Las Vegas and I grew up getting my hands dirty, and loving the lifestyle,” Martinez said. “Childhood memories fill my imagination with seas of chrome parts and grey beards riding iron horses. These images drive the inspiration behind my creations.”
Martinez says when he first walked into the art foundry at Highlands, he felt at home with the smells and welding. He describes the foundry as a doorway that opened his artistic abilities.
Wrestling is another important part of Martinez’ life. The former coach is in his fifth year wrestling for the Cowboys, experience he says will strengthen his coaching in the future.
Martinez is married to Memorial Middle School math teacher Lucinda Martinez. They have five children ranging from five months to 16 years. He looks forward to when they’re both teaching, and spending summers at home with their children.

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