UHV and VC honor Hispanic Heritage Month art contest winners

Sept. 16, 2010 at 4:16 a.m.

The Hispanic Heritage celebration at UHV's University Center on Thursday mimicked the artwork that hung on its walls.

"Food, music, dance and color" is what Hispanic Heritage is all about, Tina Kidder said, as guests filled up on snacks and listened to "Los Serpientes de Oro," a mariachi band made up of Victoria East and West high school students.

Kidder was one of three judges who evaluated the 54 pieces of artwork that filled up all three floors of the University Center.

Middle school art students from Victoria and Port Lavaca were invited by UHV and Victoria College to participate in the colleges' third year of the Hispanic Heritage Month art contest.

The winner, Morgan Gonzales, said she chose to represent Hispanic heritage with a colored pencil drawing of a woman making tortillas because it reminded her of her grandmother.

"I think it represents Hispanic heritage because it's something that's really traditional," Gonzales said. "It's not something just for special occasions or celebrations - we make tortillas all the time."

Kidder agreed.

"The one we picked, to me, really seemed to tell us what our culture is all about, and a lot of it begins in the cocina (kitchen)," she said.

Other drawings included a portrait of one of the members of "Los Serpientes de Oro" and a scene of a young girl playing outside with a doll.

Leanna Rosales drew the latter with the help of a model - her 6-year-old niece Morgan Almeida.

"It was great," the shy model said before being called in front of the room to be recognized with second-place winner Rosales.

All of this year's winners were from Howell Middle School and were taught by Blanca Sanchez.

In fact, Sanchez has taught the past three years' winners.

"I'm just a stepping stone," Sanchez said, adding that her goal is to prepare her students for higher education.

The top three winners received scholarships to UHV and Victoria College.

"I also want them to appreciate the culture," Sanchez said. "They take (the project) very seriously and do research."

Kidder calls herself a "lifelong student" of art, having taken classes at Victoria College for more than 15 years. But, she said she learned even more about art by judging this contest.

Gesturing toward the drawings displayed at the front of the room, she laughed, "These students put me to shame."



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