The practice and study of artistic mediums goes beyond nurturing creative impulses. For children, learning to make things and bring facets of their imagination to life can also improve motor skills, language development, cultural awareness and decision-making, to name a few. To that end, The University of New Mexico is hosting the first-ever UNM Young Artists Exhibition.

From Nov. 1 – Dec. 6, artwork by students from public, private and charter schools from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Los Alamos can be seen at the Masley Gallery. This highly-competitive juried show offers opportunities for students in grades 6-12 to show work in a professional venue with a large and diverse audience.

Karen Mazur, manager of the Masley Gallery, said the team had their work cut out for them, choosing from all of the art that was submitted.

“We got about 250 entries and had to jury it down to about 85 pieces,” Mazur said, “and even then, it’s pretty crowded in our small space.”

With arts programs in public schools across the nation struggling to stay afloat in the face of dwindling funds, it means a lot when a state university can step in to lend a hand through their time, space and infrastructure.

“APS usually has a metro art show for their high school students, and that’s being cut back exponentially this year,” Mazur said, “so we’re filling that hole a little bit.”

An awards ceremony and reception will take place on Dec. 6 from 6 – 8 p.m. Awards will be given in the categories of painting, drawing, mixed-media, sculpture, ceramics, photography, graphic design, printmaking and video.

For more information, please contact Karen Mazur at 505-452-8678 or