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With art selected for exhibit in the Big Apple, artist and Aggie cross-country runner is making strides

NMSU Senior Lizbeth Mata

NMSU Senior Lizbeth Mata was selected to show a piece of her artwork at See.Me's Long Island gallery at The Story of the Creative Exhibition. Mata is pursuing a Bachelor of Art degree in art history and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in printmaking. She credits her father with helping her discover a passion for art. "My dad is a sculptor and he's always been a great influence on me. Just seeing him work with stone and carving it always amazed me, and [art] was always something that I wanted to do," she said.

Several weeks after she submitted her work for the New York-based show, she got word it had been accepted.

"It was surreal," Mata said, "I didn't know what to think at first. I showed the letter to my parents and they read it, and understood that my work was accepted and that made it real for me." In addition to her talent as an artist, Mata shines as a member of NMSU's cross-country team. Last season, she ran in three events, including the Kachina Classic, where she posted her season-best time.

She has been a runner all her life and ran her first race when she was in the first grade. Mata comes by her talent naturally-her mother, Josefina Mata, ran track and cross country at NMSU from 1986-90.

Mata's father, Jesus Antonio Mata, is also an Aggie. He holds three degrees from NMSU. The See.Me group hosts art shows for people submitting work on its website. The Story of the Creative Exhibition showcases less than 1 percent of its members, and this exhibition showcases hundreds of artists from 103 countries.