the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Michael Hurd

San Patricio

2016 recipient, Major Contributor to the Arts

An accomplished painter in his own right, Michael Hurd is being recognized not only for his own impressive artistic achievements but for his vitally important work to preserve and enhance his family's legacy and historic property in New Mexico.

The youngest son of Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth Hurd, Hurd was born in Roswell and raised on the family's Sentinel Ranch in the Hondo Valley. Encouraged by his father to explore pursuits other than art, Hurd studied business at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science. He spent a year performing with the New Kingston Trio and then did a stint in Chicago selling real estate. Realizing he was "definitely not a city boy," Hurd returned to his beloved Sentinel Ranch in the 1970s. Hurd oversees the operations of the Sentinel Ranch and the Hurd-La Rinconada Gallery, which he designed and built.

"The scenes immortalized through Michael's work reflect the inner soul of him," said nominator Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell of Roswell. "He is a true Renaissance Man whose importance to New Mexico encourages viewers to be inspired by and to drink in the beauty and colors of his timeless works of art." Hurd works from reality, as did all the Wyeth and Hurd painters. "The inspiration of his father's landscape scenes and the still life compositions of his mother are evident in his work," Ezzell said. "He doesn't refute his heritage or the effect it has had on his work, but Michael's style is distinctly his own." Hurd was very involved in the massive undertaking to relocate his father's mural, "The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare for It," from Houston to the Artesia Public Library, where it was dedicated in 2015.

"Michael's art is rooted in the tradition of family — a family that has produced four generations of world famous artists," said Elizabeth Stephens of the Artesia Arts and Cultural District. "Michael is devoted to keeping alive the art of that family. At the same time, he paints his own vision, seeing and capturing the world that he loves through his own eyes." Gallery owner Nedra Metteucci said Hurd is "tireless and broad thinking in his pursuit of excellence for his own painting but also in his efforts to sustain the rich artistic heritage that his family has contributed to for generations. . . His impeccable standards apply not only to his colorful array of paintings that capture the heart of New Mexico, but also to the arts community statewide, and he is sensitive to our museums, with a continual awareness for cultural preservation."