Most artists can’t say their work is in wallets and purses throughout the state, but photographers Matt Nunez and Gabriel Dupon won’t have that problem when the new Colorado driver’s license rolls out in Fall 2021.
Nunez and Dupon won the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) Iconic Colorado contest to redesign the State’s identification credentials. More than 55,000 Coloradans voiced their choice for the State’s upcoming Driver License design in the Iconic Colorado contest. Votes were tallied on Feb. 5.
Governor Jared Polis honored the recipients in a state-wide online presentation on March 1 saying, “I want to congratulate all the Coloradans who submitted design and art, and all who voted for their favorite artwork. Our driver’s license is a piece of our brand – we take it with us no matter where we go. And now we can say that Colorado has the most beautiful driver’s license for our state.”
He added, “I ran to create a Colorado for all” – to make it the best place to live, to raise a family, to start a business or to retire … these new driver’s licenses are an extension of that Colorado pride. That sense of identity and pride is essential for us now to build back stronger as we recover from the pandemic.
Each will receive a $500 grant, courtesy of Colorado Creative Industries, a division of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), which partnered with the DMV to help promote the contest.
Nunez placed first with his Mount Sneffels entry, which received 26,520 votes or 47.6 percent of the total. The second-place design of the Maroon Bells garnered 21,124 votes or 37.9 percent of the total. A third entry of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison placed third with 8,116 votes for 14.6 percent of the total votes. Nunez was the lone finalist selected through two rounds of blind voting that saw his three colorful images vie for the Iconic Colorado crown.
Nunez is a fifth-generation Coloradan from Colorado Springs, currently living and working in Glenwood Springs. He is proud to come from a long line of family members in military and government service, including his late grandfather, Joe Nunez, who came to Colorado as a child and served in the State legislature representing Douglas County.
Nunez was raised in a military family, spending his childhood abroad and across the U.S., before returning to Colorado after college. He has taken photos since high school and quickly took up landscape photography as his focus after spending summers in the Centennial State while in college.
Nunez works full-time as an economic development professional for the city of Glenwood Springs and says he is passionate about building more vibrant Colorado communities while showcasing them through photographs in his free time.
In a tight race, Dupon placed first for the back design of the license, with his Sprague Lake entry, which received 19,989 votes or 35.9 percent of the total.
Dupon is a Colorado native who says he loves to be creative and to make the unknown extraordinary. One way he does this is by taking pictures of the beauty that surrounds him and being able to inspire others with his work.
Currently, Dupon runs a photography business focusing on portrait and event photography. Other than photography, Dupon enjoys adventuring, alpine skiing, cycling, rock climbing, and being creative in any way possible.
The Iconic Colorado contest launched Aug. 17 with the goal of transforming Colorado’s driver licenses into the most beautiful in the world. It closed with 407 submissions (280 front-side entries, 127 back-side entries) from 119 entrants. More than 400 entries were submitted by over 100 talented Coloradans, including finalists Matt Nunez, Fred Lord, Jenn Cunningham and Gabriel Dupon.
Three finalists were selected by a committee that included motor vehicle administrators, artists, and Gov. Polis. with a final, public vote on the top three designs.
Coming in as second-place for the back design of the Shrine Ridge Trail by Fred Lord netted 18,694 votes or 33.5 percent of the total. Jenn Cunningham’s painting of the Bison on the Plains placed third with 17,077 votes for 30.6 percent of the total votes.
Coloradans should visit dmv.colorado.gov/iconic-colorado for more information. New identification credentials are expected to launch in the fall of 2021.
B-Roll interviews with the Iconic Colorado finalists
Jan. 25 interview with Iconic Colorado finalist Matt Nunez
Jan. 27 interview with Iconic Colorado finalist Gabriel Dupon
The Colorado DMV, can’t provide the basic services that are due to Colorado residents. Why spend money designing a new DL?? Might be better to make the DMV an efficient and useful service to those who pay for it…