For any aspiring artist, being in an environment that nurtures one’s creativity is an absolute necessity.

For graduating senior Drew Morrow, the atmosphere of the University of New Mexico has helped him mature as an artist in a variety of ways.

Morrow is a studio art major, who primarily prefers paint as his medium.

“I kind of do more abstract work, because I have a hard time with figures,” Morrow said. “I do like to do live drawing and figure drawing as well, but I like to focus on more organic and free-form (pieces).”

Having grown up in a nearby city, UNM was the logical next step for Morrow when it came to pursuing a higher education.

“Growing up in Rio Rancho, I’ve kind of always come to UNM for random school events, especially since I was in the marching band in high school,” he said.

His involvement in marching band continued once he started college. Morrow has played music for 14 years, and being a part of the marching band allowed him to create some amazing memories along the way, he said. Morrow eventually became the clarinet section leader for two years.

Rachel Raymond was a marching band participant, alongside Morrow, for many years. She said that their time together in the program were moments to remember.

“(Drew) is the funniest, most hardworking guy I know,” Raymond said. “He is a true inspirational leader.”

Morrow expressed his admiration for Chad Simons, the associate director of bands at UNM, saying Simons had a profound effect on him during his time in the marching band.

“He’s been, probably, the most influential person I’ve met here,” Morrow said.

Being both an artist and a musician, Morrow said that the two mediums often blend with one another when he is creating. In fact, he said, listening to and playing music has become one of the main creative forces behind his art work.

However, Morrow’s involvement in the arts extends beyond the classroom and marching band. As a member of Kappa Kappa Psi — a national fraternity organization for university band members — he found himself fostering his love for the arts even further.

“We emphasize highly on the joy of music,” Morrow said.

The fraternity also provided him with more leadership opportunities. He served as the fraternity’s historian and vice president of programs. It also gave him the opportunity to participate in and travel to district conventions, where chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi from various states come together.

After graduation, Morrow hopes to establish his own small studio art practice. At the moment though, he is savoring the tremendous accomplishment of graduating.

“I”m glad to be done — it’s a great relief,” he said.

Kyle Land is a news editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @kyleoftheland.