PSJA Students Create Personal Pieces to Raise Awareness, Express Themselves Through Texas Art Competition

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Texas Border Business

PHARR – The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD Fine Arts Department hosted its 5th Annual PSJA Student Art Exhibition recently, displaying over 250 art pieces at the district’s central office after representing their schools at the Visual Art Scholastic Event (VASE) Texas competition. 

“The mission of TAEA VASE is to recognize exemplary student achievement in the Visual Arts by providing middle school and high school art students a standard of excellence,” according to the Texas Art Education Association.

This year, the students took the opportunity to raise awareness and express their identity through their VASE submissions.

Yzaguirre Middle School 8th grader Kayla Torres created her piece to raise awareness about sexual assault. Torres explained the bolts in her piece demonstrate the continuous pain and memories victims remain with; the splash of different colors of skin tones show that all types of races can be victims, and the pink and blue-colored hair demonstrate that assault can happen to both men and women.

The middle school students participated in the Junior VASE competition, while the high school students competed in the High School VASE competition and had the opportunity to advance to the State level. 

This year, three PSJA pieces advanced to State including PSJA Early College High School’s Senior Christopher Karr, and PSJA Southwest Early College High School’s Sofia Leal.

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Karr, who also won the Gold Seal —the highest distinction at the State level—used his self-portrait painting to express his mixed heritage and pride in his culture.

Karr thanked PSJA ISD for all the support to participate and travel to art competitions like VASE.

“I would definitely like to thank PSJA for the contests we get to go to because it helps us grow as artists,” Karr said.

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