Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands presents the work of Las Vegas, New Mexico artist Martín Montoya through June 21 in the Ray Drew Gallery in Donnelly Library at 802 National Ave.
The closing artist’s reception is June 16 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Montoya said he’s always been an artist.
“I drew pictures since I could hold a pencil and I started painting in 1984,” Montoya said. “I’m driven to express my life through art and love the process. I never need to look for inspiration; it just flows out of me.”
Portraits are the primary subject of Montoya’s work. Twenty-two portrait oil paintings are in the Ray Drew Gallery exhibition.
“I paint portraits because they represent human existence. My portraits are based upon my imagination rather than specific people and are like stories. The image in turn allows the viewer to use their own imagination to interpret the piece based upon their life experience. It might resonate or not,” Montoya said.
He said he uses hand-made oil paints from Vasari Classic Oil Company in New York City.
“It makes a difference to use the best oils because the colors are so intense,” Montoya said.
“One of the most striking elements of Martín Montoya’s work is his use of bold line and vivid color to create a mood of the person portrayed,” said Karlene Martínez, the Ray Drew gallery curator. “People will be charmed by the subtle variations in each of his portraits. Montoya is an accomplished artisan of his craft.”
Currently, Montoya’s work is exhibited at El Zócalo Cooperative Art Gallery in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Previously, he hung his work in galleries in Portland, Oregon, Denver, Colorado, and Maui, Hawaii. In New Mexico, Montoya’s paintings have been shown in Santa Fe, Taos and Madrid. This is his fourth one-man show in the Ray Drew Gallery.
Montoya’s work is exhibited in eight permanent collections throughout the state as part of the New Mexico Art is Public Places program.
The regular hours for the Ray Drew Gallery are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. In addition, during the summer session June 3 – July 27, the gallery is open on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.