June 8, 2018
Thank you for taking the time to look at my art work. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. I was in kindergarten the first time I was recognized for my illustrations; I won first place in a school contest. This seems like such a small thing now, but I love to look back and see how art has always been there for me.
In 7th grade, I took an elective art class with Ms. Lear, an art teacher at the public school I attended. She recommended that I take advanced art in 8th grade. It wasn’t only her guidance that changed my perception of art, it was the way she was able to look at me when I thought I was simply the child of immigrant parents who worked their hardest to avoid detection from the government. She was genuinely kind; I hadn’t experienced a whole lot of that.
In high school, I took art with Mr. John Kovac. I was still not comfortable showing my work, so when he found out I was destroying my art in order not to continue to get attention, he said to me, “Never, ever destroy what you make. Ever.” To anyone else, these might have seemed like simple words, but it taught me to not hide. Both Ms. Lear and Mr. Kovac didn’t provide guidance in how to make art. They gave me kindness during a very abusive time in my life. They gave me hope when it was so hard to come by.
Art has always been a refuge to me. I hope you also find refuge in my work.