Smithsonian Acquires Lovely Dr. Natalicio Image By El Paso Artist
An elegant portrait of UTEP's Dr. Diana Natalicio created by local artist Gaspar Enriquez is now hanging at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
It's no secret that El Paso is home to some of the most talented and incredible individuals, from musicians to artists and educators, including Gaspar Enriquez, a highly recognized Chicano-style artist and former teacher whose artwork and fame spans worldwide.
Gaspar Enriquez retired as an art teacher from Bowie High School but continues to create his art with various projects locally and abroad.
Thousands of El Pasoans have seen his works of art without even knowing it when visiting Southwest University Park after the Chihuahuas commissioned him to create a few pieces around the ballpark.
During an interview with El Paso Inc., Enriquez mentioned that he created the beautiful black and white portrait of Dr. Natalicio before her death and that she had it displayed in her living room.
After her death in September of 2021, Gaspar decided to submit the portrait to the curator of the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery, who saw an opportunity to acquire the magnificent artwork and share Dr. Natalicio's extraordinary life on a national stage.
Emerita Dr. Diana Natalicio was a leader, visionary, and trailblazer who led the University of Texas at El Paso for 31 years and who, by her retirement, had the longest-serving tenure among presidents at any major public research university.
The portrait is also one of four artworks by Gaspar Enriquez that the Smithsonian has acquired over the years, which is pretty awesome.
So the next time you find yourself in Washington D.C, stop at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery and take in the mastery of Enriquez's talent, and capture the grace and beauty of the extraordinary and late Dr. Diana Natalicio.