In its 30th year of publication, the "Gallery" - a student literary arts magazine published at The University of Texas-Pan American - still provides an excellent outlet for student voices and a platform for national recognition of its creative contributors.
This year, the competition attracted nearly 9,500 entries in five divisions - news, magazine, yearbooks, videos and online media. The awards the UTPA students received were in the college magazine category for work produced between June 16, 2009 and June, 15, 2010.
The following students were recognized with awards:
• Beatriz Guzmán Velásquez won two first place prizes for her paintings. Her painting "Todo se extingue hoy" won first in the Single Color Illustration category. Her second first place award was in the Portfolio category that included three of her paintings.
• Adam Cantu won two Certificate of Merit awards for his drawings in the Cartoon category. His works are "Science can Produce Monsters" and "Does Anyone Know How to Farm?"
• Elena Sanchez won a Certificate of Merit in the Black and White Photography category.
• Marcos Molina won a Certificate of Merit in the Color Photo category for his photo "El Charco."
• Andrew Sauceda (editor), Jennifer Hernandez and Amanda de la Fuente (art director), all contributed to the design and text of the Table of Contents Page, which won a Certificate of Merit in that category.
• Amanda de la Fuente also won a Certificate of Merit in the Design Portfolio category, which included the design of "My Medicine," and judged on how the page complemented the literary content on the page.
"Gallery" adviser and UTPA lecturer Dr. Britt Haraway said he was proud of all the "Gallery" participants and appreciative of the support of English and art department faculty as well as the trust submitters of work gave to their fellow students who worked hard to produce a top notch magazine. Other "Gallery" editors included Cristina Perdomo, literary editor, and Kristin Hidalgo, visual arts editor.
"They have been told by their professors here at UTPA and by their parents that they have talent and potential and energy, and that local praise is real and important. But there is also a powerful experience in being praised by a stranger," Haraway said.
In 2009, their first year to compete for the Gold Circle Awards, four students won awards for their work in the "Gallery." Haraway said there were several reasons for the increase in awards this year.
"Through networking, the students in the 'Gallery' class have strengthened the connections with the art majors on campus. We received rich and varied art and photographs, and there were more people with design experience on the staff this year. It was important, too, that for the first time, "Gallery" was in full color for the whole issue," he said.
Velásquez, a Certificate of Merit winner last year for her poetry and artwork, expressed "enormous surprise" at her success this year.
"Winning two first places made me realize all the work I did to prepare me as an artist in technique, intense investigation, and research for my paintings was worth it," she said.
Velásquez, who plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in studio art, said she believes this recognition for the 'Gallery' puts the bar higher for both the students and professors.
"I would like for every student and future students of UTPA to see in my accomplishments a motivation to do something alike or better. I never did any project with the intention to be recognized first. Recognition always came at the end. Maybe even a year or two later," she said.
Sauceda's thoughts on the success of this year's magazine is best reflected in his editor's note in "Gallery 2010" to contributing artists and writers on campus.
"Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts and emotions with us and the world," he wrote.
For more information on the "Gallery," contact Haraway at firstname.lastname@example.org.