Highlands University to Host 10th Annual Painters Exhibition  

The popular show brings together student artists and established artists from Northern New Mexico 

August 24, 2023

Jane Fritz painting

Dance from the Pass, by Jane Fritz

The 10th Annual Painters Exhibition will open on Sept. 10, 2023, at Kennedy Hall on the NMHU campus, and will run through Oct. 31. This year’s invitational show will feature 41 artists and 123 paintings. An opening reception will be held on September 10, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.  

Artist Joel Greene, who has shown work in previous Painters Exhibitions at NMHU, is the 2023 exhibition’s featured artist.  

“I am really impressed by his use of color and the way he uses value and texture to depict the New Mexico landscape,” said Mary Miller, a current NMHU fine arts student and the Highlands University Foundation art curator. “He has a way of using simplified brushstrokes that capture a sense of movement and space. His compositions are dynamic.” 

Locals will be familiar with many of the names in the exhibition, which features not only artists from Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and other locations, but also many painters from Las Vegas and NMHU, including Juli Salman, Kallie Wilbourn, Todd Christianson, Louise La Plante, Nacho Jaramillo, Bernadette Maldonado, Estrella Encinias, Robert Henssler, Olivia Lovato, Duffy Peterson, Gilbert Smith, and Dawne Holmes, among others.  

Juli Salman, Director of Alumni Affairs, offers a distinct perspective of the New Mexico landscape in her work.  

“Her paintings are keen in observation, showing patience and clarity in her art,” Miller said. “Her paintings are very still, yet engaging There’s one painting that captures a sense as though you are soaring over Shiprock because her details are so perceptive.”  

Among Miller’s favorite artists in the exhibition is Las Vegas-based watercolor artist, Jane Fritz, whose work she recognized from previous Painters Exhibitions at NMHU.  

“Watercolor is a difficult medium in that you have to embrace the lack of control,” Miller said. “There is something beautiful in letting go. Her artwork has a grounding perspective, like you are present, sitting next to rocks or grass looking ahead.”  

The Painters Exhibition was started ten years ago through Las Vegas ophthalmologist Dr. Robert Bell’s generous donation of some of his collection to the Highlands University Art Foundation. The exhibition was founded at the same time to highlight the range of artistic talent on and off campus, and to give students a chance to help hang a juried show and exhibit their work.  

“It’s certainly valuable to be able to have firsthand experience with holding a print or a painting and problem solving to hang it up,” Miller said. “That’s harder to do in a large-scale classroom, versus smaller classroom sizes like we have here at NMHU.”