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Arts Council’s February artist is Salud! owner Russell Hernandez


The Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) has designated 2021 as The Year of the Artist, and DAAC is choosing an artist of the month throughout the year from a wide range of arts categories.

Salud! de Mesilla co-owner Russell Hernandez of Mesilla is DAAC’s artist of the month for February.

Hernandez “has been selected for his outstanding culinary finesse and community involvement,” said DAAC Executive Director Greg Smith.
Hernandez earned his bachelors’ of science degree in agricultural economics and business from New Mexico State University in 2004. He received the 2020 Young Alumni Service Award from NMSU for his fundraising efforts and volunteering his time to organizations like Comida Encantada and many NMSU organizations.

“We applaud this young culinary artist for providing a unique dining experience and giving back to his community through fundraising and volunteering his time,” Smith said.
Hernandez is a member of the NMSU School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management board of directors, a guest speaker for the NMSU colleges of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and Business and a pioneer for “Experience Mesilla,” an organization supporting small businesses in the Mesilla area, DAAC said. He is the Thyme of Your Life Endowed Scholarship founder, which supports NMSU students entering the restaurant industry.

In January, DAAC honored Christa Fredrickson as January artist of the month representing the performing arts (choral and opera). Fredrickson is director of choral activities at Centennial High School and is an adjunct instructor and co-director of the Destination Broadway production for the NMSU Theatre Department.

DAAC’s artist-of-the month-designations for the remainder of 2021 are as follows: March, film and stage; April, literary arts; May, painting; June, digital, drawing, illustration, pastel, print; July, mixed media; August, sculpture, woodworking, architecture; September, fine-art photography; October, ceramic arts; November, jewelry, metalworking; and December, fabric, fiber, textile arts.

DAAC is located at 250 W. Amador Ave.

Contact DAAC at 575-523-6403 or admin@daarts.org. Visit https://daarts.org/.