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Esmeralda Velasquez

Art has opened so many great opportunities for my personal growth. In my first after-school art class in Elementary School, the art teacher told me something that would change my goals forever. She had great faith in my artistic potential and strongly encouraged me to pursue art as a career. Since then, I went on to take art in middle school and all 4 years in High School.

Throughout my early education, I perceived my development from what I call 'visions'. It may sound a bit silly, but I believe it's, most commonly known, as inspiration. Usually, when I research and involve myself with a topic I find myself able to create compositions that are attributed to a certain social perspective. Some of the topics I had studied and created pieces for were; the good in people during difficult times, environmental concerns, the effects of wildfires, and most recently autism. My little brother was diagnosed with autism in 2020 which completely affected my view on society and the socially constructed norms we follow. In my Hispanic household, it further made it difficult to accept and then act upon the new circumstances. During this time I have worked a lot with my brother's therapist and parents to teach them the information but also the positive aspects. My most recent paintings depict my brother doing things differently that help him understand this world.

Art is very important and beautiful because it is my voice, my dreams, my thoughts, and my creative expression. I see artists and myself as agents of social change because we view the world distinctively. Such views create visually and creative impactful art. I have been studying at Ventura College for 2 years and will be transferring after the spring semester. I plan to further my art education as I aim to become an oil painting professor and help other students pursue their artistic goals. This would also allow me to give back to my community. During this time what is occurring in Ukraine is very devastating and I plan to do a couple of paintings with that concept in mind, although because I'm still sketching and researching, I will continue with my series that pertains to autism.

Plastic Consumption, 20 x 24, oil on canvas.

The River, 18 x 24, oil on canvas.

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