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Nacho Jaramillo Art Exhibit in Burris Hall

“Sabio” by Nacho Jaramillo

Las Vegas, N.M. — New Mexico Highlands University presents the Nacho Jaramillo portrait art exhibit Caras Masacaras: Drawings and Paintings in the Burris Hall Gallery, with an artist’s reception March 20 from 5 – 7 p.m.

The gallery is at 903 National Ave. The exhibit continues through March 21.

Jaramillo is an acclaimed, award-winning Northern New Mexico artist known for his haunting portraits of Hispanic people that reflect his own heritage.

“The translation for caras mascaras is more faces and facemasks,” Jaramillo said. “There is a mask in every face and a face in every mask.”

His medium is tempera and brush on paper and panel, with many of his portraits in black and white. Some of his pieces, including a number in the exhibit, combine tempera and watercolor.

Jaramillo calls his artwork “manchas” because the technique he uses involves smearing, either with his thumb or sandpaper.

“My subjects are mostly androgynous figures, sometimes melancholy and withdrawn,” Jaramillo wrote. “I identify the subject, a solitary figure, and make it to the point of enigma — using line, tone and form to convey a feeling and emotion.”

Born in Anton Chico, N.M., in 1943, Jaramillo is a Highlands University alumnus, where he earned his B.A. in art education. His mentor was legendary Highlands University art professor Ray Drew, for whom the university’s Ray Drew Gallery is named.

“Ray Drew was a wonderful teacher and a good person. In my work, every line becomes important and economy of stroke becomes essential. I learned this method from Ray Drew,” Jaramillo said.

Over the years, Jaramillo’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group art exhibits in galleries and museums in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos and Las Vegas — including shows at Highlands University.

Jaramillo has received honors such as Best of Show in the Tesoros de Nuevo Mexico art exhibit that hung in the New Mexico Governor’s Gallery in Santa Fe to numerous first-place awards for drawing exhibits at the New Mexico State Fair.