Albuquerque, NM – The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) is proud to announce a free public reception for the opening of two exhibitions on Friday, February 6, 2009 from 6 pm – 8 pm in the art museum.  The NHCC is showcasing the work of New Mexico artist Margaret Herrera (Chávez) in a new series entitled Nuestros Maestros (Our Teachers).  This showcase is the second exhibition of the NHCC Community Gallery.  Also on this evening the NHCC will reacquaint the public with its ever-growing and evolving permanent art collection ¡Aquí Estamos! Works from the Permanent Collection.  

The National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Visual Arts Program rarely features one-person shows. At times, however, an artist’s legacy demands singular respect.  In light of this, the NHCC Visual Arts Program has created the Nuestros Maestros Series which will highlight such artists.  Since the 1950’s, Margaret Herrera (Chavez)’s paintings, watercolors, and prints have captured the real and imagined character of New Mexico as well as other parts of the world.  The fluid lines and vivid colors in her work embody the rural landscapes and urban setting that compose the real and imagined character of New Mexico as well as the many places she visited.  Margaret Herrera (Chávez) was one of a handful of Nuevomexicanas who has been recognized as an artist working in New Mexico from the 1950’s through the 1960’s.  She was prolific and experimental, working in media that included oil painting, watercolor, pastel, prints, textiles, ceramics, and sculpture.  A native of Mora, New Mexico, Margaret Herrera or Ms. Paul Chávez when using her married name, began her lifelong profession as an elementary teacher in nearby Las Vegas and worked for the Works Progress Administrative (WPA) county extension service in Taos and Las Cruces until 1944. She received her art degree in 1953 from Highlands University and began a dedicated life as an artist and advocate for other artists. She created fervently, travelled extensively, and figured prominently in several artistic, educational, and intellectual organizations. A collection of archival material from the artist’s private papers is housed in the NHCC’s History and Literary Arts department archive. Nuestros Maestros: The Legacy of Margaret Herrera (Chávez) will remain on view through June 21, 2009.

Also opening or re-opening to the public on February 6 is the NHCC’s ever-growing permanent art collection entitled ¡Aquí Estamos! Works from the Permanent Collection. This collection comprises over 2,000 works of art to day. The paintings, sculpture, fiber arts, furniture, drawings, installation art, metal work, prints, photographs, and mixed media works illustrate Hispanic and Latino artists’ enunciations of their diverse and complex experiences. 

A series of public programs is scheduled for both exhibitions and include the following events and dates:
Nuestros Maestros: The Legacy of Margaret Herrera (Chávez)
Saturday, February 7
Cartas y corazones: Make a block print card!
12 pm – 3 pm
NHCC Salón Ortega, Free

Sunday, February 8
Curator’s Tour
1:30 PM
Art Museum, Free

Friday, March 6
Roundtable discussion on the life and work of Margaret Herrera (Chávez)
6 pm
Art Museum, Free

¡Aquí Estamos! Works from the Permanent Collection
Sunday, April 19
Curator’s Tour
1:30 pm
Art Museum, Free

Regular art museum admission is $3 adults, $2 seniors and free for children 16 and under. The NHCC is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Hispanic art and culture at the local, state, national and international levels. For additional information on all NHCC programs call (505) 246-2261 or visit The NHCC is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. END.