the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Bill Wiggins


2011 recipient, Individual Artist

Bill Wiggins of Roswell began working in oil in 1940, started exhibiting his art in 1952, and has never stopped. The 93 year-old Wiggins was born in Roswell in 1917 to early homesteader parents. He has lived in New Mexico his entire life, leaving only for brief periods to attend college in Abilene, Texas, to join the U.S. Army during WWII, and to stay in England after the war to attend art school. He continues to live and paint in Roswell in his family home. Wiggins has exhibited at Peter Eller Gallery in Albuquerque, Arkansas National Gallery in Jonesboro, Marietta College in Ohio, New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, and Roswell Museum and Art Center. He has made numerous contributions to the arts in New Mexico beyond his own successful artwork. For ten years from 1953, he taught art classes for children and adults at the Roswell Museum, and in the 1960s served on an "unofficial" state arts council with notable artists Randall Davey, Elmer Schooley, Eric Gibberd, Raymond Jonson, and Frederick O'Hara to assist with issues relevant to artists of the time. In recent years, Wiggins has suffered from macular degeneration, but despite his dwindling eyesight continues to paint almost daily in a new medium watercolor.