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Featuring Diana Contreras, Artist

Diana Contreras

1. Tell us something about yourself: what is your creative history?

I started drawing at a young age. I began to see I had talent because my art teacher, Mrs. Myerson (Kenwood Elementary) would always enter me in contests. Public art education was what encouraged my love for art. I continued my art training at Miami Dade and FIU and majored in art education. Since then I returned drawing the characters that I loved as a kid, except now I paint them on large walls all over the city.

2. What inspired you to become an art educator? I was inspired to become an art educator when I volunteered teaching art through the art club at MDC. We would teach weekly art classes to at-risk high school girls. I saw how art transformed their attitude and mood. I noticed how important art was by giving them an outlet to express themselves in a positive way.

How long have you been teaching? I taught first grade for two years and art for ten.

3. What is your favorite medium to work in and why? My favorite medium is oil paint because of its buttery texture and the ability to blend. I wish I could use it on walls.

4. What is your proudest teaching moment? The biggest one was when my 3rdgrade student won the grand prize for the NASCAR art contest. She beat all the grades even the high school. They picked her up and were driven to school in an official NASCAR racecar arriving at Avocado Elementary. The whole school was all outside cheering for her!

5. If you could have lunch with any artist in the world (living or not)

who would it be and why? I would like to have lunch with Van Gogh and tell him to hold on cause your art will be worth millions!

6. What are your personal and professional art dreams for the future? My art dreams would be to have a book published of my art, a museum exhibit, and paint a mural my country Peru, and now teach my son about following his dreams (hopefully its art dreams too).

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