La Quinta Arts Foundation Visual Arts Scholar Evelyn Olvera is studying Arts Education at CSU Long Beach.  Learn more about her creative journey.

What do you love about teaching art?

I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to see why I love teaching.  The moment I am able to make a connection or build a relationship with a student, I feel like I am able to nurture a safe, learning environment and that, I think, is the first step to facilitating creativity.  I love challenging young minds through art and allowing adolescents to utilize art as a platform of expression and empowerment.

Evelyn’s class of art students in Phnom Penh

It has been such a rewarding journey teaching art for the past four years from four year olds to eighteen year olds. The most life-changing event in my teaching career was going to Cambodia and exploring art and empowerment with the young children of Phnom Penh. With this amazing group of students, I was able to realize how much joy art can bring and the therapeutic properties it can possess. Going to Cambodia taught me about how diverse the world truly is and the different cultures I have yet to be exposed to.

Being able to teach my future high school students about artists of color has slowly become one of my major goals. My pedagogy includes the use of a multicultural education because I want all students of different backgrounds to feel represented and seen.

The Lonely Picker by Evelyn Olvera

Do you have a favorite art medium you enjoy learning about?

I have always been an experimental artist and love trying different mediums and methods to create art. I recently took up animation. I have really enjoyed the learning curve that comes with it; however, I always find myself coming back to oil painting. Oil painting is such a intricate and slow process that I feel like I can continue adding more and more until I feel like its complete. Oil painting is also very forgiving, as it allows painters to rework certain areas and learn from their mistakes.

Art by Evelyn Olvera

How has the LQAF scholarship supported your growth as a creative?

The LQAF scholarship has supported me so much these past five years. Without LQAF, I would be struggling to stay in school and would not have the time and energy to keep up my grades. By supporting me, not only financially but emotionally, I have been able to give school my all and succeed in my coursework.  Also, by encouraging me to continue studying art, I am able to grow as an artist by exploring new methods and taking various art classes like ceramics, animation, 3D printing, illustration, painting, and much more. These art classes have challenged me as an artist, made me try my hardest, and overcome the many learning curves.

Overall, I would have not gotten this far without you, La Quinta Arts Foundation! Thank you! Just how the LQAF has empowered me to pursue a higher education my senior year of high school, I wish to do the same as a future high school teacher and hope to one day pay it forward.

Thumper by Evelyn Olvera