Senior Valentina Castro works on a piece in her Art 3 paint class. Castro said she has always loved and had a passion for art and is now displaying her skills and talent for all to see.
Senior Valentina Castro works on a piece in her Art 3 paint class. Castro said she has always loved and had a passion for art and is now displaying her skills and talent for all to see.
Gavin Lambert

Masterpiece in the making

Senior Valentina Redondo Castro said she has liked art ever since she was little. She has received district-wide recognition as her work was featured in the LISD art show last year.

Castro has been enrolled in art classes since she came to Hebron from Colombia a little over a year ago. Now a senior, she said she has used art to help in her transition from Colombia to America as a way to convey her emotions and express herself. 

“I’ve always found art to be a way of expressing my feelings and [going] against stress,” Castro said. “When I got here, I was a little tense [with] all the changes, like new people [and a] new language. [Art] felt like a way of just relaxing and enjoying my time here. That helped me a lot [when going] through everything.”

Castro said her art style is “a use of very vivid colors, striving for realism.” Castro also said she takes inspiration from people and the things around them when crafting her art.

“I find people being the inspiration of my art, I also feel like the places in every piece I [create] just carry a little bit of my country,” Castro said. “I love implementing things like nature and animals in my paintings; I always try to carry a little bit of me, my country and culture in [them].”

Castro said she was grateful for the support and help from both her family and her teachers, specifically art teacher Valento Mennsfield, who taught Castro her junior year.

“She was the top artist in her class, [and] when you actually [look] at the level of art that she was creating versus what I was teaching to the rest of the class, she was already well advanced,” Mennsfield said. “She was unsure if she wanted to take the next art class. I [talked] to the painting teacher, like ‘help me get this girl in this class; she would do very well with it.’ I mean, she actually showed me some of her work recently when I walked through the class. I [thought] ‘Oh my gosh, she’s an outstanding artist.’” 

Castro continues to follow her passion for art and said she hopes to continue her art career after high school. She said she plans to minor in either graphic design, advertising or art painting.

“Everyone has this stereotype in their heads [that] Colombians are all just artsy creative people,” Castro said. “But not a lot of people do that in Colombia, because that’s not a way of living there. I mean, if you’re not like a lawyer or engineer, your life is basically over. I think there’s a lot more opportunities in creative fields [here, which is] part of why we moved here.” 

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