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Luna’s Joseph Baca Jr. selected to participate in art exhibition

Luna Community College student Joseph Baca Jr. has been selected to participate in Eastern New Mexico University’s Juried Art Exhibition on Thursday, March 21 in Portales. Baca Jr., a student in Luna’s Dr. Bernadette Maldonado’s art classes, turned in a 14 by four inch shell stone piece of art called “How’s Your Aspen.”

The piece of art is done with non-toxic acrylic paint and accented with copper wire and copper tape. It depicts the trunks of Aspen trees with different colors in the background.

“It’s an honor,” says Baca Jr. “It’s a big acknowledgement and I’m thrilled and excited to go.”

Baca Jr.’s art along with other entries are taking place in Eastern New Mexico’s Runnels Gallery from Feb. 20 to March 21.

Luna student Joseph Baca Jr. is pictured with Luna professor Dr. Bernadette Maldonado. Baca Jr. is holding a piece of art that will be entered in an Eastern New Mexico University’s Juried Art Exhibition.

“I do not know how many students were chosen but I do know that we were the only community college invited,” says Maldonado. “I also know that 230 students entered their work. If Joseph were to win, he would win up to $500. It is an extraordinary honor for a Luna student to go to a prestigious juried art show such as this one. I cheer for my student and we celebrate him and his accomplishment in getting in and working his way into the art world. This validates him as an artist and his choice to select art as a certificate program.”

Baca Jr. says that attending Luna has been a good choice for him.

“I like Luna a lot,” says Baca Jr. “I appreciate that Luna has these classes. Luna is very affordable and I am learning a lot. I hope to earn my art certificate.”

As part of the criteria, Baca Jr.’s art was selected based on first impression, originality and creativity and artist’s voice where the voice of the artist can be felt in their work and their personal perspective of the world around them be seen.

“I am so proud that he has entrusted me as his professor,” says Maldonado. “We need to continue growing this program and helping all of our art students see those creative moments and achievements so they too can have this kind of success within themselves with Luna and without.”

For more on Luna’s art program, contact Dr. Maldonado at 505-454-2565 or via email at