Students showcase their artwork for Hispanic Heritage Month

Alexis Sanchez-Alberlo submitted this entry to be displayed inside WKU’s Intercultural Student Engagement Center in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month on September 25, 2020.

Dylan Harkreader

Hispanic and Latino students have the opportunity to showcase their artwork on campus for Hispanic Heritage Month.

This has been a part of a celebration put on by WKU’s Hilltopper Organization of Latin American Students. Nationally, Hispanic Heritage Month lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The Intercultural Student Engagement Center, located on the second floor of DSU in room 2041, collaborated with HOLAS to show support and provided them with a space to present their art. The gallery includes drawings, paintings and digital art made by multiple Hispanic or Latino students.

Julia Rivas, recruitment coordinator for Equity and Diversity in Teaching, believed in showing more of Hispanic Heritage on campus. Rivas and others asked ISEC for support after seeing appreciation for other movements including Black History Month and the celebration for women. Rivas believes the art gallery is a good outlet for Latino students to feel included and appreciated.

“There’s a lot for us to show people and to teach people about,” Rivas said. “Art is one of them.”

Rivas received a list of all students who declared themselves as Hispanic or Latino. She emailed every student asking for them to send in their artistic appreciation for Hispanic Heritage. Rivas and the association utilized social media to incorporate more individuals in the art gallery this year.

“We Latinos have unique but also seemingly large stories that I think that faculty and staff and students can learn from,” Rivas said.

Alex Sanchez, freshman HOLAS member, submitted four art pieces into the gallery. Sanchez created digital works of art including a school with a Puerto Rican flag, a young Mexican girl and a witch. His favorite artwork was his fourth image of two wrestlers. Sanchez spent two days drawing and perfecting his wrestling image.

“My father taught me to draw when I was four and since then, I’ve been drawing,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez heard about HOLAS through his English professor. He showed interest in joining the association to surround himself with people of his culture. Sanchez always preferred drawing as his way of expressing his artistic ability. He insisted on using many colors when illustrating all four drawings on his laptop.

Sanchez believed submitting multiple works of art helped him gain great recognition. Having his art shown for everyone peaked his interest in the program. He plans on becoming even more involved throughout his remaining years at WKU.

HOLAS encourages any individual of Hispanic culture to submit their work to ISEC’s office coordinator through email. They will host many events throughout the month, including cooking classes, dance classes and educational meetings. HOLAS hopes to inform people on the culture of Hispanics and Latinos around the world.

The gallery will remain in the ISEC department until Oct. 15.

Dylan Harkreader can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dylanharkreader.