The Artwalk at Liberty Station

The Artwalk at Liberty Station.

PATH alumni exercise their expertise in the Arts and Humanities

January 20, 2022 | San Diego Community College District

Twelve SDCCD Alumni of the 2020-2021 PATH Mentee Program were awarded stipends for their arts & humanities projects. Projects had to follow specific criteria including supporting transfer to a 4-year university, developing a skill set unique to the careers within the mentee’s major, providing an opportunity for the mentee to present their ideas and engage in challenging dialogue, supporting real-world experiential learning in the mentee’s desired field, and developing the mentee’s professional portfolio.  Below are the reflections from five alumni.

Katerina Husar Lazarova
Katerina Husar Lazarova
Katerina Husar Lazarova

Katerina is a current student at UC San Diego and former studio art major at San Diego Mesa College mentored by Denise Rogers, reflects on her experience completing her Scholarly Article Award project:

Report From Artwalk

The Artwalk at Liberty Station, which took place on August 6 and 7, 2021, was my first and the largest art market held in San Diego. Preparations for the exhibition began several weeks before. First, it was necessary to create business cards, write and print artist’s bio, and prepare sales permits and insurance documents. Preparations culminated on Friday afternoon, when it was necessary to prepare stands, chairs, a table in the place of the venue, also pack canvases, prints, and small items such as coasters and stickers, which I created from my pictures especially for this event. I also had the opportunity to speak with other exhibitors during the Friday opening reception with refreshments. The reception was an excellent opportunity to meet other artists and have a discussion with them. At the last minute, I got helpful advice about building a mailing list.

On Saturday, Artwalk opened to the public at 10 o'clock. My role was to be present myself and my artwork, communicate with visitors interested in my work. In the first hour, I was nervous, but during that time, it disappeared. I also sold my first small painting and optimism and joy of communicating with visitors increased even more. I was no longer afraid to engage in a dialogue with the visitors, who stopped to take a closer look at one of my exhibited works.

During both days, hundreds of people passed by my booth. With some of them, I spoke, some just examined the exhibited paintings from a distance, some just stopped to pay their respects to me and my artwork, but each of the passers-by was in a pleasant mood and very supportive. Several of my friends also stopped at the stand, and each of them found what they fell in love with. Over the weekend, I sold a few more small paintings and prints, but the coasters had the greatest success.

I am grateful to have attended this event. After almost two years of isolation, I remember how wonderful it is to be among people and communicate with them. I am grateful that the visitors of my booth shared with me their personal impressions and feelings associated with my work. Their enthusiasm and appreciation gave me new energy and inspiration for my future work. I really appreciate my friends and their fantastic support and belief in me. Many thanks also to my husband, who helped me prepare everything and solved every problem with ease and a smile during the preparations. He also spent the whole weekend with me at the booth and helped me with presentations and sales. I hope that I will soon have such an exceptional opportunity to present my works to the general public again.

Kaitlyn Garber 

Kaitlyn is current student at San Diego State University, and former English major at Miramar College mentored by Miramar English Faculty, Rodrigo Gomez, reflects on her experience completing her Scholarly Article Award project:

 The Award That Starts My Career

Thanks to the 2021 PATH Scholarly Activity Award, I am now a member of the Editorial Freelance Association and will be for the next two years and thereby the entirety of my college education going forward. This membership allows me an infinite wealth of resources, all of which assist in my development of my career as an editor within the book publishing industry. Because the Editorial Freelance Association (EFA) is open to members representative of every step of the editing process, it is resource for me to diversify my knowledge. I can study copyediting, as I already have with them, as well as proofreading, structural editing, line editing, children’s book editing, storytelling, and even writing. Because of my membership, I can afford to take any of these classes and explore various avenues within my desired field of book publishing. This will allow me to offer a vast variety of services and be a versatile and hirable applicant. The EFA is also indispensable in providing an aspiring editor like myself initial real-world experience.

The EFA maintains a list of their members and is a resource for clients from all over the country who need editors. Because of this, I have immediate access to clients and can utilize it to build my own resume and portfolio. This list of members, myself now included, exponentially increases my access to jobs, which in turn builds my portfolio. These initial opportunities serve as the foundation of my career. This remains true throughout my career and will help me at every step; from starting out to building my skillset, to developing my website and accumulating clients. I am anticipatory of my career in publishing, and the EFA is an indispensable resource that I am so thankful to be a part of.

Sophi Zepeda

Sophi is a former Visual Arts major at San Diego City College mentored by Terri Hughes-Oelrich, reflects on Scholarly Article Award experience.

Right in between where City Heights and North Park meet lies a small screen-printing studio ran by Kristin Nason, a traveling artist who currently resides here in San Diego. Island Farm Press, which has reopened their in-person classes as of April 8th, also offers residencies to those familiar with the screen-printing process. Attending a screen-printing workshop here is what I decided to put my funds towards, and I look forward to bulking my portfolio with some of the prints that I made and hopefully coming back to use the studio again.

Having a one-on-one class with Kristin was more than helpful with getting me fully acquainted with silk screening. Beforehand I sent her a few images that I illustrated in my sketchbook, which were made into a digital file and then printed so that it would be burned into a screen. To put simply, the “burned” portions of the screen is where the screen-printing ink will be able to pass through. With this technique, you can apply your designs to paper, fabric, and a multitude of other things. Even if they are not lined up quite perfectly, the prints have a nice and rough look to them. I even held onto a couple of my test mis-prints.

One class session is enough to get you comfortable. Kristin was always there to assist, but in no time, I realized I was taking the wheel and making my prints all by myself. Once you burn a screen it can be used over and over if treated right. What Kristen and I really clicked on was the topic of sustainable art. As we rummaged to reused Trader Joe’s containers now full of ink, we discussed how we wanted to make our method of art production as green as possible. I brought in an old tote bag as well as an old shirt for one of my test fabric prints, and luckily, they are now both in a lovely home. At the studio I was given recycled, yet excellent quality paper. Seeing all the fibers and shards from all the papers before it made my print stand out even more. Because a little bit of ink goes a long way, I was able to make a lot more than expected. Thanks to this opportunity I now have some product to share at my first vending event. I know how to print by hand as opposed to sending my work off to be printed by someone else, and even more so I know how to work sustainably!

Jade Robinson

Jade is a student at UCLA and former Black Studies and English major at Mesa College mentored by Pegah Motaleb, reflects on her Scholarly Activity Award experience:

This semester, I qualified for the grant or the scholarly award in the PATH program. My project was putting together my poetry book. I used the money to pay for a graphic designer, as well as an editor and other miscellaneous stuff to help with the process. The process helped me in many ways. It helped me get a better understanding of myself and my book – which was especially important to me. It helped me learn patience working with other individuals to help something creative of mine come to fruition. It helped develop my creative direction and helped me realize how the minute details in any project matters. Overall, I had a great experience finishing my project and I am excited to share it with the world soon. 

My project has been an idea I have been trying to manifest and work on for the past three years. My book is a compilation of 6 different journals I have written from 2017-2019. These journals discuss diverse topics and experiences. I talk about my struggle with my sexuality, my body, my relationships with men and myself. I thought it out to be an experience that I wanted to share with others hoping they could relate and feel that their unshared thoughts and feelings could be heard, somehow. 

How I began this process of putting this experience together digitally, is I got on my notebooks, and I typed all the poems I wanted to share onto my desktop. I scanned one of my journals and decided to add it to my book. I produced an idea for how I wanted my book cover to look. After, I put the book together on my own on a document, I found a graphic designer. Thankfully, I had an old classmate who I already had in mind, who went to school for graphic design! We came together to discuss my cover and my idea so she can than produce a cover that could replicate my idea. After successfully deciding my cover design, we spent a couple of days coming together, to decide what format I wanted my book to be in, what font I wanted the cover in, the back cover and for the inside. I admit it was fun to be the one in control to finally make my book the way I wanted to. I never thought about all the smaller details you’d worry about when putting together a book; like where you want the format to start, what size you want the title of the chapters to be, what font compliments the title and the rest of the book, the actual size of the book. It was fascinating but it was nice to be on the other side creating an experience for the reader to have. I thought about all the experiences I had reading different books and novels growing up and I put it into consideration. I thought about the things I liked seeing and even feeling as a child, teenager, and a young adult. I wasn’t just putting words onto paper; I was creating an experience that would hopefully make an imprint on my readers. 

Lastly, I hired an editor to edit my book for any final mistakes (mostly spelling mistakes) and I went over my book as well. The plans I have for my book is to now send it to publishers, small or big. I would really like to see if I could sell my art. 

Catherine Wynn

Catherine is a student at UC San Diego and former English major at Mesa College mentored by Jennifer Derilo, reflects on her Scholarly Activity Award:

Reflection on Kimberly Dark’s workshop, Memoir: The Process 

Kimberly Dark’s workshop, Memoir: The Process, has enabled me to become a better creative and academic writer through brainstorming tools and grounding techniques that connect my work with socially relevant themes. Kimberly Dark introduced several prompts that enabled writers to explore specific details of their life yet offered readers a relatable experience.

Some of the prompts focused on pop culture, food, and literature that directly connect to a specific moment in life. As I explored these culturally relevant prompts and listened to my fellow workshop peers, I began to understand the sociological connection between personal narrative and society. Throughout the workshop Kimberly Dark also offered ways to help writers get their story on the page without getting it lost in the mind. During timed writing exercises we were encouraged to move forward and keep our pens moving throughout the allotted time. This exercise has helped not only my creative writing, but my academic work as well because I was able to incrementally increase my focus and time spent writing. Another element of this workshop that has helped my academic writing were the feedback tools Dark introduced. She encouraged her students to witness other’s writing with an open mind rather than act as a spectator with expectations for good or bad stories. Practicing this peer review exercise has bettered my editing skills in both my creative and academic works. 

The recorded Masterclasses taught by David Sedaris have reinforced the practices introduced by Kimberly Dark. One of the most influential lessons Sedaris taught is the importance of a disciplined writing schedule. In combination with Kimberly Dark’s prompts and techniques that encourage writers to create, the Masterclass has helped me expand my writing portfolio through learning diligence.

Both of these opportunities to learn from famous, published writers have given me the tools to organize, ground, and expand my writing portfolio in ways that have compliments my creative writing classes.

Learn more about the PATH PROGRAM - Preparing Accomplished Transfers to the Humanities

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