the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Lee Gruber

Silver CIty

2019 recipient, Individual Contributor to the Arts

Lee Gruber has been a major force in her community through initiating ideas and shepherding them to reach goals that promote contemporary visual art, foster an understanding of the history of New Mexico cultural arts, and nurture an environment that will economically support the business of art. Gruber founded the Silver City tile business Syzygy with her husband over 25 years ago. Though she recently retired, Syzygy continues to thrive making architectural ceramics whose production process embraces technology for building construction worldwide while maintaining an artistic sensibility. The company's many actions as part of their community include donating an estimated $50,000 of materials over 20 years to local organizations and projects. As board president of the Southwest New Mexico Arts Culture and Tourism, Gruber led the establishment of the Silver City Arts & Cultural District, where she was board president. Through her vision were established both the Silver City Clay Festival and the Southwest New Mexico Clay Arts Trail. The Clay Festival has evolved into a national event of exhibitions, workshops, and demonstrations. The Clay Trail, begun in 2013, has grown to 60-70 member sites in Luna, Hidalgo, Grant, and Catron counties. It also partners with historic sites related to clay such as the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the Mimbres Cultural Center.