Four talented local high school students were presented with the inaugural Promising Artists Awards from The University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts.

The winners are poet Akyra Cordova of Santa Fe; Paolo Serino, film and digital arts, Albuquerque; Davin Montoya de Chavez, music, Rio Rancho; and Gianna Silva, dance, Albuquerque.

The Promising Artist Awards recognize the talent of New Mexico high school students who are passionate in one of the many disciplines of fine arts: music, painting, drawing, filmmaking, theater, dance, sculpture, art criticism, printmaking, photography, and dramatic writing. 

The opportunity was open to New Mexico high school juniors and seniors in all disciplines of fine arts. Each student submitted an Artist Statement explaining how their work represented an interest in UNM Fine Arts and the specific department of interest along with a sample of their work.

The award winners attended a virtual visit with CFA professors in April. During the virtual event, they received feedback on their submitted work by professors in their areas of interest. Each winner received a scholarship to attend UNM Fine Arts for their first two semesters of study.

“I am proud of these amazing high school students,” said CFA Dean Harris Smith. “It was my pleasure to have this opportunity to help support these students, especially during this inconceivable year. I hope that next year we can have an in-person award ceremony to show these students the amazing UNM Fine Arts campus and the extraordinary students at our college.”  

UNM Fine Arts is a dynamic visual and performing arts college for the burgeoning arts community of Albuquerque, with more than 20 undergraduate degrees to choose from and 150 full-time faculty members. UNM Fine Arts annually presents over 300 public performances, exhibitions, installations, and art discussions produced by its creative students and faculty. Visit the CFA website for more information.