the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Jim Vogel


2016 recipient, Artist, Painting

Born in Roswell, Jim Vogel was encouraged by his parents to pursue drawing and painting as a child. He is now considered a storyteller with a paintbrush and is nationally recognized for his depictions of rural New Mexico. "He makes the almost ordinary, heroic, singular and noteworthy," said nominator John Gray of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. "While there is a definitive realism, mostly of New Mexico, his stories transcend the ordinary."

Vogel said he paints to tell the stories of New Mexico, "the stories told to me by my Grandfather, my Mother, my friends and neighbors of the Embudo Valley, and the land itself."

Growing up, Vogel was influenced by Southwest artists such as Peter Hurd, Luis Jimenez, and Georgia O'Keeffe. He received an associate degree in advertising and graphic design from the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver, which greatly influenced his composition and color sense. "I also attribute this experience to forming my work credo: to be creative, I must create." Vogel said. "I do not wait for the muse to strike. I have to go into the study every day and put pencil to paper, paint to canvas. If I don't have an idea, one will come as I draw."

Artist Erin Currier said Vogel is "at the forefront of the 21st century New Mexican Avant Garde." Currier said she is especially impressed by Vogel's handling of light in all of its manifestations. "Jim's awareness of his light source is constant and uncanny; the way in which this ever-present source illuminates his subjects is nothing short of pure New Mexican magic," Currier said.

Eva Encinias-Sandoval, director of the National Institute of Flamenco, said when the institute lost its headquarters and 30 years of costumes and archival resources to a fire in 2013, Vogel created a piece and donated 100 limited edition giclée prints of La Resurrección, raising thousands of dollars to benefit their recovery efforts. "It is not only his art that makes Jim Vogel an exceptional New Mexican, but his generosity and love of our state's culture," she said.