Recruitment fair targets talented EPISD student artists
(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — Dec. 5, 2018) -- High-school art students from throughout the District got a one-on-one with college recruiters on Tuesday pouring over their sketches, canvases and other works of art for advice and potential scholarships.
This experience was part of the second annual EPISD Art Recruiting Fair, a unique event that attracts more than a dozen art-school recruiters into El Paso to speak with EPISD’s most talented visual artists.
“As an art student, you don't really feel like you have that connection out there … that you’re able to go to art school, even afford it because it's always this absurd, almost unobtainable thing,” said Matthew Sanchez, a senior at Coronado. “To come here and meet these representatives from all over the nation who care about what you're doing and see what you're doing gives you that confidence to apply to these schools and really explore your creative attributes. I think it’s invaluable.”
Juliana Lew, recruiting coordinator for the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design, enjoyed meeting with students and appreciated the creativity they brought to the table.
“Students need to see that the work that they're doing is valid and that it is important work that needs to be fostered at our schools,” she said. “In order for them to understand that they can make a difference in the world with their creative work, they need to meet with us one on one and hear that their work is important.”
Lew said she was impressed by the EPISD student artists she met at the fair.
“They are confident, prepared and are doing work in media that we're not seeing in other parts of the world and the country,” she said.
EPISD fine arts facilitator Rosa Aguilar also has found the recruiters and college representatives to be impressed by the uniqueness of the students’ artwork.
“Our region has a unique set of talented artists that have so much to say about our culture about their unique vision of our border and a lot of our art schools and colleges are interested in offering them scholarships because they want that vision and that voice our students bring,” said Aguilar said. “It’s important to remind our kids that their art education doesn’t end at the high school level and that there are opportunities for them at the higher education level. A lot of these colleges offer amazing scholarships and opportunities for our students.”
During the first art recruiting fair, more than $368,000 were awarded in scholarships and grants and officials expect this year’s number to exceed last year’s figure.
Colleges attending the event included: the School of Chicago Art Institute, Maryland College of Art and Design, Southern Methodist University, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design, Southern Methodist University, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Texas Women’s University, Texas Tech, Laguna College of Art and Design, UTEP and NMSU.
“I’ve enjoyed interacting with the different representatives from each of the colleges,” said Chapin High School junior Romelo Rosario, the 2018 EPISD High School holiday card winner. “They’ve been giving me critiques and helpful recommendation that I may be able to use in the future development of my art. I really want to go to an art school so this has been very helpful.”
Photos by Leonel Monroy