Aggie student athlete shows off artistic talent

NMSU Athletics
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 11:40pm

Senior cross country runner Lizbeth Mata was selected to show a piece of her artwork at The Story of the Creative Exhibition in New York City.

Mata’s drawing was unveiled July 25 and will be on display at See.Me’s Long Island gallery until Sept. 10.

The See.Me group hosts art shows for people submitting work on its website. The Story of the Creative Exhibition showcases less than one percent of its members, and this exhibition showcases hundreds of artists from 103 countries.

Mata has been involved in art her entire life, “My dad is an artist so there’s always been that interest. When you get that first college application, all I could think about was art, so that’s what I started on.”

Mata credits her father, Jesus Antonio Mata, with getting her interested in art and supporting her to pursue her passion.

“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 it was always something that I wanted to do.”

Mata receives newsletters that have information on different art shows and decided to enter her art for the show through See.Me. Several weeks after she submitted her work she got word that her work had been accepted and would be shown in New York.

“It was surreal,” Mata said, “I was amazed when I knew. 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.”

Mata enters her senior season as a member of the NM State cross country team. Last season, she ran in three events, including the Kachina Classic where she posted her season-best time of 21:53.

She has been a runner all her life and ran her first race when she was in the first grade. She was initially a sprinter and made the change to running distance races later in her career.

“My goal is to run a marathon and see what happens from there. I love running, and it’s my passion as well, equal to art.”

Mata’s passion for running is from her mother, Josefina Mata, who ran track and cross country at NM State from 1986-90. Mata credits her parents and her high school coaches in supporting her to become a college athlete.

“My coaches from high school noticed that I had endurance for long distance running, and they pushed me to reach my goal of following in my mother’s footsteps.”

Mata and her parents traveled to New York City for the opening of The Story of the Creative Exhibition in July.

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