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Las Cruces woman receives governor's award

Laurena Fernow Babey will receive the Governor's Award for Excellence and Achievement in the Arts at a public ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at the St. Francis Auditorium of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe.

Babey, a Las Cruces resident since 1950, is being honored for her contributions to the arts. Nominated by the New Mexico State University Art Department, Babey donated more than 600 19th century Mexican retablos to the NMSU Art Gallery. The donation helped to establish the nation's largest public collection of retablos -- religious images painted on tin.

Laurena and Andrew Babey began collecting retablos and bultos -- carved wooden figures of saints -- as well as paintings, pottery and antiques, when they moved to Las Cruces.

"El Favor de los Santos," a major exhibition that includes part of the University Art Gallery retablos collection, is touring museums in Mexico and the United States.

Photo is available at http://kiernan.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/Babey_Laurena.jpg
For a print, call (505) 646-3221.
CUTLINE: Laurena Babey of Las Cruces, recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence and Achievement in the Arts. (NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan)

Karl Hill
Sept. 21, 2000