Paula Castillo

New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

SANTA FE, NM – August 3, 2023 – Artists who reflect their people, their communities, and their culture are being recognized among the recipients of the 2023 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.  New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA), New Mexico Arts (NMA), and the New Mexico Arts Commission (NMAC) join in the Governor’s celebration of this diverse group of influential and impactful individuals.  “I want to congratulate the 2023 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts winners,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “This year’s recipients come from every corner of the state, showcasing the immense possibilities of the arts across New Mexico. These artists are musicians, authors, sculptors and designers who push the boundaries of telling stories about the state and their lives through art. I am proud to recognize and show off such talent to the rest of the world.” It’s the 49th year for the awards which were created to celebrate the extensive role artists and their work play in New Mexico. This year’s recipients represent not only the extraordinary diversity of New Mexico’s rich cultural traditions, but the depth and generosity such diversity encourages. The artists work in a variety of forms and materials, ranging from visual art to writing to music to sculpture, while the major contributors work tirelessly in their communities to support the arts.  The artists who earned the award represent the entire state: Paula Castillo of Belen, Raven Chacon (Diné) of Albuquerque,Mark Ian Saxe of Dixon and Judy Tuwaletstiwa of Galisteo. 

About the 2023 Awards recipients 

  • Paula Castillo, Visual Artist, Belén Indo-Hispanic artist Castillo holds an MFA from the University of New Mexico in 3D Studio, focusing on Contemporary Theory, Human Geography, and Relational Aesthetics. She is currently working on three monumental permanent public sculptures, Glyph, Equis and Trestle, for the Denver Art Museum Campus, revealing Denver’s deep Mestizaje narrative. 
  • Raven Chacon (Diné), Musician, Composer and Artist, Albuquerque Chacon is a composer, performer, and installation artist from Albuquerque, NM. A recording artist over the span of 22 years, Chacon has appeared on more than eighty releases on various national and international labels. In 2022, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Voiceless Mass.  .  
  • Mark Ian Saxe, Stone Sculptor, Dixon Saxe was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, served his country in Vietnam, and while traveling in Europe, discovered his love of stone. Completing his MFA on the GI Bill, he became an apprentice stonemason before moving to New Mexico to open his stoneyard and begin his long career as a sculptor.  
  • Judy Tuwaletstiwa, Visual Artist, Galisteo Tuwaletstiwa is a visual artist, writer, and teacher. After earning degrees in English literature from U.C. Berkeley and Harvard University, she discovered the power of visual art to connect us to the deepest part of ourselves. She has spent her life exploring and expressing this, using different media.