Hall of Fame 

In 1994 the International Association for the Visual Arts established the El Paso Artists’ Hall of Fame to honor artists for their accomplishments and contributions to the visual arts scene in the El Paso region. Artwork of the honorees resides in the museum collection. There is also a bronze plaque listing each member of the Hall of Fame in the Museum’s foyer


Inducted Artist
1994 William Kolliker




William Kolliker was one of El Paso’s most beloved artists and is a member of the El Paso Artists’ Hall of Fame. Born in Berne, Switzerland on October 12, 1905, Kolliker moved to New York at the age of 16. Having artistic talent early on, he found a job with the art department of the New York American. Eventually he became the art director and art editor of the American Weekly, a position he held for twenty-five years. Mr. Kolliker studied at the Grand Central Art School, the Maryland Institute of Art, and the Boston School of Art.Soon after his relocation to El Paso, Kolliker became one of the city’s foremost artists. He created countless pieces for public and private display, and even created designs used by the U.S. Mint. Despite creations of great national significance, Mr. Kolliker was always most dedicated to painting the land that he loved, the Southwestern desert. In particular was his love of the Pre-Columbian mythology which once inhabited this desert landscape. It is a collection of these Pre-Columbian masterpieces in watercolor, along with his personal collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts that the International Museum of Art now houses.

Mr. Kolliker has created countless works of art which hang in the most prestigious places.  Among his many accomplishments:

  • Created a mosaic mural in the downtown El Paso Savings Bank
  • Designed the 7 ft. high eagles for the Amistad Dam dedicated by President Nixon
  • Designed 10 ounce medals cast by the U.S. Mint
  • Designed 2 silver plaques presented to Mexican President Lopez Mateos and U.S. President LBJ on the occasion of the Chamizal settlement
1994 Urbici Soler



Urbici Soler was born June 21, 1890 in Farran, Lerida, Spain, but spent his youth in Barcelona uner the tutelage of Pedro Carbonel.  He continued his studies in Budapest, Vienna, and Munich, where he was a student of Adolph E. R. Von Hildebrand and eventually operated his own school.  He also taught in Houston, New Orleans, and in El Paso at the College of Mines and Metallurgy (now UTEP).  He is most famous for his figure Sierra de Cristo Rey on the mountain of Cristo Rey.

His work hangs in museums in Europe and North and South America.  His public art continues to inspire, yet it is as teacher that he is perhaps best remembered.  According to friend and great artist Tom Lea:”He is an artist of genius, and a craftsman of superb technical knowledge and skill. – He is a teacher gifted with sensitive power to impart his profound knowledge.  He is the kind of artist who, in enriching our views of life, will give us, always, more than he receives.”


1995 Connie Dillman


Connie Dillman began sketching as a child, but did not develop a serious interest in art until her late twenties.  She enrolled in drawing courses at UTEP, and cites Jan Herring, Wiltz Harrison, Mark Pearlman, Millard Sheets, Charles Reid, and Robert E. Wood as her earliest influences.  Ms. Dillman’s earliest work was in metals, which she sold at art shows across the Southwestern United States.  She paints in a variety of media, and is best known for selecting female images as subjects and painting large pieces.

Ms. Dillman has won numerous awards, included the National Watercolor Best of Show 1995, Sierra Medical-El Paso Museum of Art First Place-1991 and Best of Show- 1989, and the American Watercolor Society- Artist magazine Award-1997.  She is an elected signature member of the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, and the Pastel Society of America.




























Anna Johnell Crimen

























Eugene Thurston




















Her career is in the hearts, minds and hands of her many students around the world, and her artwork can be viewed at the International Museum of Art.

Anna served as Director and Assistant Director of the Fort Bliss Arts and Craft program 1956- 1971

Born October 22, 1917 in El Paso, Texas - 2015. She was the first daughter of Dr. John C. Crimen, co-founder of Southwestern General Hospital, and Sarah Ellen Guinn Crimen Anna Johnell Crimen is known to be a sensitive, dignified artist and teacher. Much of  her work has been shaped by her acute response to the natural environment. This special woman's talents were her commitment, consistency and contributions to the southwest area arts community. She has helped advance the arts Through her many teaching and endeavors in the city of El Paso, and the Fort Bliss Military Base. Her most significant contributions to the arts community, however, were as a teacher and motivator. Over a period of 36 years, she owned and operated three arts and crafts schools in El Paso: The Ceramic Room, 1950-57; The Crimen School for the Designer-Craftsman, 1970-73; and The Crimen School for Arts & Crafts, 1976-86. She is well remembered professionally, philanthropically and academically; throughout the El Paso del Norte Region. Including Ciuduad Juarez, Mexico and Southern New Mexico. 

Numerous local, professional artists trained at her schools and hundreds of talented amateur artists learned to appreciate the spirit of the visual arts and their own potential under her directions

She graduated from El Paso High in 1934 and was salutatorian of her 1938 graduating class at the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, now UTEP. Her art training began in 1946 as a student at the Hollywood (Calif.) Art Center, followed by scholarship studies under sculptor Henry Lyon in Pacific Palisades. Additionally she obtained a undergraduate fine arts studies at the John Herron Art School at Butler University. Jewelry and watercolor studies at the Lincoln County Art School in Oregon.

She participated in the first World Congress on Crafts in New York City, and workshops with renowned New Mexico artist Lincoln Fox

Over a professional career spanning over 50 years, she formally exhibited in more than 50 shows, including 8 one-person exhibitions. She judged 19 exhibitions, including 3 kermazaars and other regional competition's.
Her art skills spanned through many mediums, including sculpture (bronze, clay, plaster and wax processes) , jewelry, leather work, metal enameling, mosaics, macramé, pottery, painting (including acrylics, alkyd, enamels, oils, vinyl and watercolor), printmaking (acid etching, diamond point, lithographs and wood block), weaving, wood carving and craft making . 




Eugene Thurston was born in Memphis, Tennessee on November 5, 1896, but moved with his family to El Paso in 1906.  He attended El Paso High School, where he was a cartoonist for the school newspaper.  After serving in the Army until the end of WWI, Thurston began taking correspondence art courses and learning about commercial art from local proprietors.  He then established a greeting card business.  The card business lasted only until the Depression, and Thurston began teaching art at El Paso Technical Institute.  While he continued to teach for twenty-five years, Thurston also busied himself with establishing El Paso as a visual arts center.  He was a charter member of several associations including the El Paso Art Guild, the De Norte Arts and Crafts Guild, The El Paso Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters and the El Paso Art Association.

Mr. Thurston’s paintings are displayed in the Congressional office building in Washington, D.C. and New Mexico’s governor’s office.  Mr. Thurston was the recipient of the Mentors of Today Award given by the Texas House of Representatives and an award from the National Society of Arts and Letters.






L B Porter











William M. Bissel










Born on March 3, 1929, as Lawrence Benjamin, Porter was a third generation El Pasoan.  After completing high school in El Paso and completing a stint in the air force, Mr. Porter moved to New Mexico.  Attending New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now New Mexico State University), Mr. Porter received a B.A., B.S., and M.A in Fine Arts.  He also received an honorary doctorate degree from the London Institute of Applied Sciences.  After having taught school and working as a visual information specialist at White Sands Missile Range, Porter has spent more than fifty years as a full-time professional artist.  A self-proclaimed ultra-realist, Porter paints primarily in acrylics, and his primary subject matter is the land and people of the Southwest.  Porter was a true pioneer in the Southwestern art scene, introducing nudes into more traditional Southwestern landscapes.

Mr. Porter has won countless honors, including several best of show awards.  He has been accepted as a “signature artist” in Knickerbocker Artists of America, and received national honors in the Campbell Soup Company competition.  He has had many shows throughout the United States, and has a hefty list of private collectors from Peace Corp directors in El Salvador to movie producers in California.







December 31, 1929- September 15, 2023
Bill was inducted in 1997
William "Bill" M. Bissell was a dedicated disciple of the craft of painting. He built his career as a professional engineer, combat veteran in the Korean War as a Colonel, then went full circle to devote his life to teaching art, painting, and producing his interpretation of Americana. His success is in imparting the knowledge he has gained to aspiring artists through lectures, classes, demonstrations and workshops. 






1998 John Sherrill Houser


John Sherrill Houser has led a life of artistic excellence.  Perhaps his talent is genetic; his father was an assistant sculptor on Mount Rushmore.  Mr. Houser received a degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, pursued graduate art studies at UCLA, attended classes at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, and studied under masters the world over.  He has traveled extensively in Europe, Morocco, Mexico, Ecuador, and the United States in order to truly understand the subjects which he recreates in sculpture and painting.  His work has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and in a PBS documentary.  His current project is entitled “The XII Travelers Memorial of the Southwest,” a public art sculpture project which commemorates the history of El Paso.

Mr. Houser has received many prestigious national awards and participated in numerous exhibitions including the National Academy of Western Art , the National Sculpture society, and many others.  His work can be found in prestigious locations such as the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, the Portland Museum of Fine Art, and the U.S. Library of Congress.

1998 Jose Cisneros  

Cisneros is the undisputed historical illustrator of the Southwest.  Born in Villa Ocampo, Mexico in 1910, Cisneros moved to Ciudad Juarez in 1925 and El Paso shortly thereafter.  His only art education was from a Mexican street artist who taught him how to mix colors.  The lesson taught Cisneros only that he was colorblind.  Still, Cisneros did countless illustrations in color in his famous cross hatched pen and ink style.  When macular degeneration rendered Cisneros virtually incapable of continuing his finite work, friends such as First Lady Laura Bush acquired for him an enlarging apparatus to allow him to add detail to rough sketches previously completed.

Mr. Cisneros has written and illustrated countless books on the history of the Southwest border region.  He has exhibited throughout the region, including the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, and the U.S. State Department in Mexico City.  He has received many honors and awards including the Americanism Award given by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Order of Civil Merit given by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.  He has also received the Military Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem by the Vatican and the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.  With nearly seventy different awards and honor won throughout his lifetime, it is impossible to list them all.  He is truly an El Paso legend.


1999 Russell Waterhouse  

Russell Waterhouse was born August 11, 1928 in El Paso. After graduating from El Paso High School, Mr. Waterhouse attended Texas A&M University where he received a B.S. in economics. He also studied at the Art Center College of Design in California. Mr. Waterhouse worked for the Tony Lama Company as an artist and for the El Paso Natural Gas Company as an advertising director before becoming a full-time artist.

Mr. Waterhouse’s work has been displayed at the Wichita Falls Art Museum, Texas A&M University, The El Paso Museum of Art, and the Game Conservation International in San Antonio among many other prestigious locales.  Mr. Waterhouse also served as a member of the Texas Commission on the Arts and Humanities from 1970-1975.  His work is owned by many corporate collectors such as the El Paso Natural Gas Company and Providence Memorial Hospital, and many individual collectors.


1999 George Robert Snead



George Robert Snead was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1936.  His love of the visual and performing arts began as a young man, and his talents only grew as he studied throughout the world.  His list of credentials includes the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, and the University of Mainz in Germany.  He has also studied under O.A. Williams of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Wolfgang Braun of Germany, and famed Italian impressionist Salviano Constantini.  Although gaining success as a political cartoonist, his favorite subjects are the Buffalo Soldiers.  In addition to paintings of these military pioneers, Mr. Snead also plays LT Henry Ossian Flipper, the first African-American West Point graduate, in an on-stage production.  A resident of El Paso since 1977, Mr. Snead owns the Frame Workshop on the east side of El Paso.

In addition to accomplishments pertaining to military service (three Purple Hearts, and three Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry to name only a few), Mr. Snead has also accomplished much in his long artistic career.  He has had many successful traveling one-man exhibits chronicling the life and times of the Buffalo Soldiers, a show at the office of Laura Bush, and many others.  He is currently serving as a Commissioner for the Texas Commission on the Arts.


2000 Bill Rakocy  



Bill Rakocy was born in Youngston, Ohio, in 1924.  He served three years in the Navy (1943-1946), serving in the Philippines and Marcus Island in the Central Pacific.  He pursued his artistic talent by sketching GI buddies.  He received a BFA and MFA from Kansas City Art Institute after his military service.  He has had a long, successful career as an artist and author.  He has also contributed to the El Paso community in his role as curator at the El Paso Museum of Art, and as a teacher, juror, and mentor to local artists.

Mr. Rakocy’s work has been exhibited all over the United States in locations as prestigious as the CIA Building in Washington, D.C.  He has won numerous awards, and his work hangs throughout the Southwestern United States.  He continues to paint, research, write, and be an integral part of the El Paso art scene.

2000 Susan Amstater Schwartz  

Susan Amstater Schwartz received her art training at the Otis Art Institute, the University of Colorado, and the University of California at Los Angeles.   A master of watercolors, Mrs. Amstater Schwartz is said to paint “what she feels, and what she feels is what determines what she paints.”

Susan Amstater Schwartz has received numerous awards for her watercolors including Best of Show in the Rio Bravo Watercolorists’ 1990 exhibition and the Award of Excellence in the Arizona Aqueous VI in Tubac, Arizona in 1991.  She also designed the poster for the 1999 Santa Fe Opera, and has paintings featured in the book Desert Echo:  Women Illuminate the Sacred by Jacquelyn Stroud Spier.  She has had shows throughout the United States, including one person shows at the El Paso Museum of Art and the Nedra Matteuci Gallery in Santa Fe.  Her works hang in collections all over the country, including the Governor’s Mansion in Austin.


2001 Ernesto Martinez Ernesto Pedregon Martinez, a native El Pasoan, is considered one of the nation’s leading Mexican-American artists. A self-taught painter/muralist, Mr. Martinez gained national recognition for his contributions to the Chicano Movement of the 1960s.  Mr. Martinez has served as an artist for the U.S. Government for more than thirty-five years, been a professor of Mexican/American art at El Paso Community College, and served as an art expert for many civic, religious, and military entities.  Still, his artistic talents are dwarfed by his community service and service to country.  A decorated WWII veteran, Mr. Martinez still volunteers his time for many veteran and community organizations.

  • Elected “Texas State Artist” for 1997-1998 by the Texas State Senate
  • Honored by U.S. Congressman Silvestre Reyes with a reception and exhibit at his El Paso offices.
  • Honored by the El Paso City Council for outstanding contribution to Mexican-American culture in 1977.
  • Exhibits in such prestigious venues as the Smithsonian National Museum and the New England Fine Arts Institute.
2001 Ann James Massey Ann James Massey was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1951.  At the age of six, her family relocated to her mother’s hometown of El Paso, Texas.  Her artistic talent was quickly recognized by her high school art teacher, who suggested that she pursue art as a career.  Mrs. Massey has since taken the art world by storm, winning countless national and international accolades.  While Mrs. Massey is perhaps best known for her wax pencil depictions which make her subjects look real enough to touch, she is also an accomplished oil painter who takes her techniques from the Dutch masters like Jan Vermeer.  After owning and running two galleries, Mrs. Massey found that she did not have enough time to focus on her art, so she now spends much of the year in Paris, France, an environment she finds quite conducive to her artistic endeavors.

•    Society of Women Artists, London, Barbara Tate Award
•    Knickerbacker Artists, New York, Medal of Honor
•    American Artists Professional League Award
•    Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Exhibition Lovell Award
•    Allied Artists of America National Arts Club Award
•    Countless shows throughout the United States and the world

2002 Rosellen Marslender


Rosellen Marslender has always been interested in art, so it was little surprise that she majored in art in college.  She received her B.A. from SMU, and put her artistic skills to work while working in the advertising industry.  She spent many years volunteering at the El Paso Museum of Art, and especially loved working with children.  Having grandchildren of her own inspired her to integrate memories, verses, and songs into her paintings, in hopes of interesting young people in art.  She continues to delight the young and young at heart with her work.

Mrs. Marslender has had numerous exhibitions, including the Museum of Art at Pronof in Juarez, the Chamizal National Museum, UTEP, the El Paso Museum of Art, and many others.  She has illustrated many books and has helped with the artistic designs of the interior of Grace United Methodist Church.  She is a member of several professional associations, and has held several offices with the El Paso Museum of Art.

2002 Manuel Acosta Manuel Gregorio Acosta was born on May 9, 1921, in the Mexican mining town of Aldama.  Mr. Acosta’s parents moved the family across the border to El Paso when “Manny” was only a year old.  Mr. Acosta discovered his artistic talent early, spending his grade school years drawing and beginning to study art more seriously as a student at Bowie High School.  After spending four years fighting WWII, Mr. Acosta trained at the Chained Art Institute in Los Angeles and then received a scholarship to study art at Texas Western College.  There he became student and friend of fellow hall-of-famer Urbici Soler.  Through this friendship, Mr. Acosta met New Mexican artist Peter Hurd, opening up even more opportunity.  He began to get jobs as a muralist, and eventually started his own studio, where he was famous for throwing the best parties in El Paso.  His painting was primarily in oil, but he was also fluent in other media, including bronze.  His works included portraiture (the International Museum of Art has a stellar example), and the people and scenes of El Paso’s Mexican-American community.  Sadly, Mr. Acosta was murdered in his home in 1989.  He will always be remembered as one of El Paso’s greatest and most influential artists.

Manuel Acosta exhibited throughout the United States and Mexico, including such prestigious locales as the CIA Building in Washington, D.C. and the National Institute of Bellas Artes in Mexico City.  He painted a portrait of Cesar Chavez for the cover of Time Magazine, which now resides in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.  He was inducted into the El Paso County Historical Society Hall of Honor in 1984.  His work is owned by many collectors and continues to be coveted by art lovers everywhere.

2003 Ricardo Hernandez Ricardo Hernandez is an El Paso native who graduated from UTEP with a fine arts degree in 1976.  Shortly thereafter, he took a job with the Texas Commission on the Arts, an organization that he would work for for 28 years.  From 2002-2007 he served as Executive Director.  His very extensive resume bespeaks a long career in the arts community.  While serving as a panelist, curator, juror, board member, and many other capacities in various local, regional, and national arts organizations, Mr. Hernandez has spent his entire career as an advocate of the arts.  An accomplished artist in his own right, Mr. Hernandez is a renowned sculptor, painter, and musician.

Mr. Hernandez has served as an advisor to many prestigious arts organizations, including the National Ednowment for the Arts and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture.  He has touched many lives through his work as an educator, and he has also produced many publications concerning the arts in our communities.  Since his retirement from the Texas Commission on the Arts, he has started to devote more time to his own work.

2003 Hal Marcus  

Hal Marcus was born in 1951 in El Paso, Texas.  He is best known for his use of color,  a color sense that developed as a child when he accompanied his grandmother on weekly trips to the Juarez Market.  Mr. Marcus has traveled the world in search of his subjects, and his art is decidedly multicultural, while still primarily dedicated to the themes of the border region.  He currently operates a gallery in El Paso where he sells his own art along with that of several renowned regional artists.

Hal Marcus has won numerous accolades for his craft, locally, nationally, and internationally.  His art has been used for numerous worthy causes, such as the Texas State Health Department, the American Heart Association, and the Peace Corps.  His work hangs in such places as the Chamizal National Memorial, and the UTEP and El Paso Libraries.  In addition to success with his painting, Marcus is also an acclaimed author and filmaker.  His film “Hal Marcus 2001” won a Bronze Telly Award given to “outstanding non-network and cable commercials, films, and video productions.”


2004 Alberto Escamilla Alberto Escamilla has been a professional artist since 1977.  He also served as an art teacher at Father Yermo High School from 1986-2003.  He serves as an art history lecturer/consultant for many local entities such as El Paso Community College, Barnes & Noble book Store, Hal marcus Gallery, and numerous radio, television, and print publications.  Mr. Escamilla is an impressionist painter whose work is collected by noted patrons of Southwestern art such as Cormac McCarthy.

Exhibits at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Agora Gallery in New York.
Major exhibits throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe.

2005 Tim Gallegly



Mr. Gallegley was born in Amarillo, Texas.  He received a degree in fine arts from Texas Tech University in 1972.  After college, Mr. Gallegley  moved to Albuquerque where he worked as a commercial artist and then owned an advertising agency.  Since the 1980s, Mr. and Mrs. Gallegely have lived in El Paso where Mr. Gallegely serves as president of the Guynes Printing Company.

  • Donated art to various non-profit organizations such as the American Cancer Society
  • Feature Artist for Junior League Christmas Calendar
  • Feature Artist for UTEP’s Capital Campaign
  • Artist of the Year – United Way Capital Campaign
  • Serves on Texas Tech Medical School Arts Selection Committee









Earline Barnes








Neil C. Baker



Earline Barnes was an active painter for more than thirty years.  She was known as both an impressionist and a “colorist.”  Ms. Barnes was extensively involved in the El Paso art scene, where she taught classes and workshops for overy twenty years.  Her love for painting and enthusiasm were contagious, and she was beloved by all of her students.  She died in 2005, but the International Museum of Art continues to preserve the memory of a fine artist by a purchase award named in her honor.

Her paintings hang in the Pentagon, The El Paso Museum of Art, the Ft. Bliss Defense Museum, and the Sierra Providence Medical Center.  She has won a long list of awards including the Annual El Paso Museum of Art Purchase Award and Best Mixed Media 1982, 1984, and 1985, the National League of American Pen Women Best of Show 1993, and the Sun Bowl Best of Show 2002 and 2003.  She was also named to the Knickerbocker Artists of America.


















2010 Aleksander Titovets




Aleksander Titovets was born and raised in a cabin in a Siberian forest in Russia. When he was ten, his parents moved to St. Petersburg, where he later earned both bachelors and masters degrees from the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) State University College of Fine Art. His classical art skills reflect the Russian School of Oil Painting, a style that combines a powerful realistic involvement with the soft, lyrical looseness of impressionism.Titovets credits his early success to the teaching of his professor, Leonid Krivitsky, whom he later worked with when he joined the faculty at the College of Fine Arts. Titovets was also honored in Russia with membership in the prestigious Union of Artists of the USSR.

Titovets immigrated to the United States with his wife, Lyuba, from Russia in 1992. Leaving behind family, financial security and professional respect, the couple arrived with five paintings and less than $100 in their pocket. They had no long range plans, only a desire to paint professionally. They began by using their apartment balcony, one at a time, as their studio. Within a year, Titovets had earned enough prize money from craft fairs and juried shows to replenish supplies and to purchase new materials.

His thoughts on life:  “Through Art, we can answer questions of who we are, what we live for and what we will leave behind when we’re gone.  My goal is to make these connections so that people who see my paintings will understand and maybe treasure their time on earth more.”

His work springs from Fundamental Training in the Classical Russian School of Painting together with his enthusiasm, comprehension and passion for great art.

Noted Credits:  National Academy of Design, N.Y., National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Missouri, National Oil Painters Society and 1998 “Artists Choice Award’ at the “Artists of America” Exhibit, Denver, Colorado.  Best of Show, International Fine Art competition, Sierra Medical and El Paso Art Association for four years.Mr. Aleksander Titovets was chosen to do a portrait of the FIRST LADY, Laura Bush, in 2009.  A new First Ladies Gallery in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

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