the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Noel Marquez


2008 recipient, Painting and Mural Artistry

Born and raised in Artesia, Noel Marquez has devoted his artistic career, since the early 1970s, to working with the community in which he has lived, "imaginatively enhancing the appearance of buildings and structures that people see every day," said nominator William Goodman, who received the Governor's Award in 2005. "In so doing, he has contributed to a sense of pride in the local people, and a particular identity to the place. And he has given young people an example to which they can aspire."

Goodman said he was first introduced to Marquez and his work by the late Luis Jimenez, with whom Marquez was working. "Luis, not an easy man to please, thought very highly of his competence as a painter and a sculptor." Marquez has received a number of commissions from the state public art program for murals in such communities as Hobbs, Lake Arthur, Artesia and Mesquite.

Virginia Dodier, director of the Carlsbad Museum & Art Center, said she has long been impressed with Marquez's ability in public art projects to connect with people from across the local community where he is doing his work. "A good example is the Eddy County mural," Dodier said in her letter of support. "Noel talked with and listened to folks, gradually overcoming initial resistance to such a big change in this small town. By the time of the dedication (in October 2006) Carlsbad had taken the mural to its heart."

Dodier said she first met Marquez when she stopped by his studio on Highway 285 in Artesia. "Through the door I saw him working at a small fresco panel, surrounded by neighborhood kids," Dodier said. "He is exceptionally good with children and teenagers. He makes it seem like being an artist is absolutely normal, an option open to all."