Mural Project at NVC Shows Struggle and Access to Education

Access to education can mean different things to different people and some of these stories are being depicted in a unique mural project by Northwest Vista College and award-winning artist Adriana M.J. Garcia.

The massive 7 feet x 36 feet mural uses actual images of students who have gone back to school later in life, come from immigrant parents, are first generation college students or have parents who made sacrifices to support their educational journey. The project’s theme was created from research and student surveys.

While Garcia is the lead artist and guide on the project along with her assistant Michelle Love, the collaboration also includes middle, high school and college students. The project, funded by an Arts Engagement in American Communities grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, is a collaboration of two Northwest Vista College academic programs: Mexican American Studies and the Fine Arts departments. The unveiling of the mural will take place at the college’s Cypress Campus Center in mid-August.

Adriana is an award-winning artist, muralist, scenic designer from San Antonio’s West Side. She is a winner of the Jose Cuervo Traditional Mural Project, a national art competition, and presents at national conferences. Adriana is also a graduate of College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn and earned a Multimedia Specialist Certificate from Northwest Vista College, where she previously was a faculty member. Read more about Adriana in a NVC Alumni feature story on her.

Adriana said the project’s focus on education is important to San Antonio because of its large high school dropout rates.

“We want the mural to show that education helps people create a new identity and self-determination,” she added. “It’s about trying to better yourself in order to have a better life than the previous generation.”

NVC Public Relations video practicum student Eduardo Sifuentes Jr. recently did interviews with Adriana and Dr. Sandra Garza of NVC’s Mexican American Studies.


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