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Gallery owner and NMSU grad to receive prestigious Mexican award

Adair Margo, a graduate of New Mexico State University's master of arts program, will receive Mexico's Order of the Aztec Eagle Award Nov. 19 at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C.

The Order of the Aztec Eagle is the highest decoration awarded by Mexico to people who are not citizens of Mexico.

Previous recipients of the award have included labor activist Cesar Chavez and former Texas Governor Ann Richards.

Margo, owner of the Adair Margo Gallery in El Paso, Texas, is the chairman of the U.S. President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) and a member of the U.S. Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"I feel like this award represents the true relationship between Mexico and the U.S.," Margo said. "It shines a light on the sharing that goes on between our countries."

Margo cited the various monuments and pieces of artwork in the borderland, including the Don Juan de Onate monument at the El Paso International Airport and the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Juarez, Mexico, as evidence of this sharing and said residents should visit these and other sites to appreciate the relationship between the two nations.

"Actually seeing works of art that communicate our history goes a long way in helping us understand," Margo said.

"Arts and humanities have a fundamental role in breaking down barriers of understanding between countries," said Henry Moran, director of the PCAH. "No one in the U.S. has done more than Adair to focus attention on and honor the rich cultural traditions throughout Mexico."

Moran mentioned recent breakthrough meetings, including the PCAH meeting held in April in both El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, which brought together arts and humanities leaders from both countries and the historic, first-ever U.S. government cultural delegation to the People's Republic of China in June, as evidence of Margo's contribution to international cultural development.

"Adair was chosen for this award because of her commitment to Mexican cultural heritage, artistic expression and cultural diplomacy," Moran said.