About EDWARD GONZALES
Painting is my lifetime pursuit, a path of exploration and personal growth I have
followed as a professional fine artist for over thirty five years.
Edward Gonzales is a painter from New Mexico, raised in Albuquerque. His art
depicts the Latino and Southwest cultures. His career as an artist began early: at
the age of four Edward’s grandmother Remedios gave him colored pencils and
paper to keep him occupied while his parents were at work. From then on the little
boy grew up with a passion for drawing and painting. By providing him with the
simple tools to create art Remedios opened his eyes to the world of art.
My family on my mother’s side arrived in the United States from Mexico about 1916
and settled in southern New Mexico. My father’s family came to Nuevo México in
1598 with the explorer Juan de Oñate. My observations of their cultural differences
and similarities began when I was very young and became part of my
understanding of who I am as a person and as an artist. I began creating art based
on my cultural experiences as a way to express the universality of the human spirit.
Gonzales’ formal art education began in junior high school and continued at the
University of New Mexico. After four years of college he was drafted in the Army
and sent to Vietnam. Being a soldier was a life changing experience. Gonzales
returned home with a stronger commitment to his art, deciding that his paintings
would celebrate life and express the beauty and vitality of Latino culture and the
Southwest’s iconic landscapes. He received a BFA in Studio Art in 1971.
Finding few venues for Latino artists early in his career, Gonzales founded the
annual Contemporary Hispanic Market in Santa Fe in 1989 and the Hispanic Arts
Building at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque.
In addition to a larger body of art the artist promoted education for children
through his special series of paintings on family literacy and education. They have
been reproduced as bilingual posters which are marketed nationwide. A number of
these paintings are in the permanent collection of the National Hispanic Culture
Center’s Art Museum (NHCC).
In 2004 the Albuquerque Public School Board named a new school Edward Gonzales
Elementary in recognition of his contribution to art, education and Hispanic culture.
Gonzales is an art historian and co-author of an award winning biography, “Spirit
Ascendant, The Art and Life of Patrocinio Barela” and illustrator of the classic
children’s book “The Farolitos of Christmas.”
Awards and Honors
2013 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts
2012 Zia Award, University of New Mexico, recognizing alumni for outstanding
achievement in the arts in the community
2008 National Hispanic Culture Center, Albuquerque. Two man exhibition, “
Caminos Distintos, The Art of Patrocinio Barela and Edward Gonzales.”
2007 ‘Outstanding Hispanic New Mexican’ award, joint session of the New Mexico
2006 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) “Outstanding
Latino Cultural Arts Award in Higher Education”
2004 Albuquerque Board of Education names new elementary school for the artist.