El Paso Community College’s Continuing Education program hosted its Second Annual Art Exhibit open house on June 10, marking the official start of the student exhibit.
The open house featured several different pieces created by Continuing Education (EC) students and instructors.
“It’s a very nice program. We start out so confused.
We start the class believing that we don’t have the ability or the skill to paint –so we struggle. Ms. Burgos is so patient with us,” said three-year student Maria Salazar, who painted Acrylics Portraits of her grandsons titled “Donte” and “Zakary.”
Rosa Maria Burgos is the Art Instructor who started the program.
“I never thought I’d be able to draw faces,” said Margara Gallegos, a 3-year student of the EC art program.
Gallegos did not start painting until she was 55-years-old, and has contributed her progress to the teachings of the continuing education program.
Gallegos’ Acrylic Portrait “Rebecca” was featured in the exhibit. The portrait was of her daughter.
“My paintings are like my children,” said Alma Herrera, who has been painting for 15-years.
Herrera’s Acrylic Portrait “Noah” was featured in the exhibit.
“It was the first time I painted a portrait,” said Herrera, who has been in the program for four years.
The abilities of the students in the program vary from beginners to the retired artists.
The art program is divided into several courses: Painting with Acrylics I and II, Watercolors and Portrait Painting.
The arts featured at the Art Exhibit were Painting with Acrylics I and II, and Portrait Painting, which is being offered for its third semester.
“Acrylics I is for beginners. Acrylics II are for the students who are no longer beginners.” said Julie Cruz, a 10-year Art Instructor in EPCC's CD program.
During Acrylics I, students paint the subject matter provided by the instructors, but that changes once students enroll in Acrylics II.
“I don’t want students to go home with a picture of my daughter or granddaughter,” said Cruz. “By the time students enroll in Acrylics II, they know enough to bring their own subject matter.”
Cruz spoke on the importance of the art exhibit.
“Being able to be proud of what you’ve created and sharing it with others,” said Cruz.
Salazar also expressed the importance of the annuel art exhibit.
“Its not for us. It’s for the people in the community who aren’t aware that the college has these classes available,” said Salazar. “The classes are so relaxing.”
Many of the students in the program referred to their fellow classmates as “family” and that there is no competition among classmates.
The Art Exhibit featured artwork from June 1-14 at the Administrative Services Center building at 9050 Viscount Blvd. in the building-A in the foyer.
This event is free and open to the public.