The Arts

July 31, 2011

Young, Local Artists

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Written by: Nydia O Tapia - Gonzales
Big Head

Listening to these young artists is a very satisfying experience, to see how art can inspire and motivate students to succeed, to analyze about life and present their experiences to us through different media is enlightening.

I recently attended a VASE exhibit held at the UTPA Library where I had the opportunity of meeting Rina Roberts, Region 1 VASE Director, she was busy organizing the event’s speakers making sure all present art teachers and students were introduced.  This was the first time VASE exhibited here; Rina said the group received over 1,000 entries:  VASE is an acronym for Visual Arts Scholastic Event and Region 1 consists of cities between Zapata and Brownsville, Texas.

There seems to be an arts renaissance in the Rio Grande Valley, new artists young and old, are now given the opportunity to showcase their work through school, local universities, new magazines and the web. Adults seem to be more open to art education and the pursuit of a degree in the arts.

“Captured Emotions” is the title of the first work of art, pictured to the right of this article, the artist is Victoria Ramos of Roma High School. When interviewing Victoria, she said the thought behind her work was to show, with acrylic paint and  charcoal drawn Polaroid pictures, how we are innocent as children, then, as we get older, we enjoy rides and seemingly frivolous activities before  looking  down on our lives, realizing that issues like the environment, smog and contamination are occupying time in our minds.  “The pearls symbolize maturity” Victoria said. Victoria’s teacher is Mario Godinez and this is Victoria’s first year studying art. 

Jaquelyn J. Gonzales, also from Roma High School, exhibited her work titled “Breaking Out” for which she used many different pieces of glass to cover her painting’s background, a visually interesting and creative use of resources. Jacquelyn’s teacher is Gabriela Gonzalez of Roma High School.

Erika Briones, of Edinburg High School, loves the use of color, when she pulled the theme “tomato” from a box full of themes meant to inspire and trigger student’s  imagination to create a prize winning work of art, she was thrilled about the opportunity to  use all the shades of red and orange available and choosing the colors that would best enhance her work.

Erika has been studying art since the sixth grade and her “Big Head” piece is the one used as main photo for this article. Erika used acrylics, ink and watercolors to complete both the “Tomato Tree” and “Big Head”. Tere Viña  is Erika’s teacher

La Vida Valle would like to invite all Valley art students and art teachers to submit work they have exhibited along with a brief description and a short biography.

I hope our area School Districts consider using student’s art work to produce folders, posters, decals or anything that would help promote art education and even school events.  Motivation along with great art programs and dedicated teachers is certainly a recipe for success. 

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About the Author

Nydia O Tapia - Gonzales
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts,nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most important, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .




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