the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Vincent Figliola

Las Cruces

2015 recipient, Individual Artist

Vincent N. Figliola, 79, has dedicated his life and art to expressing the dignity of the human struggle and the narrative of the land and its people. Figliola and his wife, Barbara moved to Las Cruces from Manhattan nearly 30 years ago, leaving behind the world of advertising where he was an award-winning creative art director. On Figliola's 50th birthday, after driving cross-country, he chose to settle in New Mexico's desert and mountain landscapes to "see if I could become a serious painter." Gary Biel of Las Cruces said he once asked Figliola why New Mexico. "He looked out his sunroom and pointed to the rock spires of the Organ Mountains and said, 'Look',” Biel noted. John O'Hern, Arnot Museum curator and current New Mexico editor for "American Art Collector" of Santa Fe, has called Figliola one of the "important realistic painters of this century." Whether exploring a complicated social issue with his "Border Paintings" or a seasoned man with the lilt of his cello in New Mexico snow, Figliola paints truthfully for humanity. His oil paintings "Cruz and Jose" and "Moving On" were selected for the Juried International Exhibition: "III Bienal Ciudad Juarez-El Paso Biennial 2013: A Cultural Crossroads for the United States and Mexico," which was exhibited at the El Paso Museum of Art and the Ciudad Juarez Museum of Art.