“On numerous occasions, I have thought to myself about the wonderful, positive impact David will have on our world as he goes on with his life.” – Andrew Polk, Professor of Art
What a fitting observation to introduce undergraduate School of Art student, David Contreras. David, a senior at the University of Arizona, who in the words of Associate Professor of Art, Cerese Vaden, is not only “in the budding stages of a prolific and unique art career” but also an individual working to create an accessible and connected art community within Southern Arizona in hopes of bettering our youth.
While earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Education and 2D Studio Art, David, a Tucson native, threw himself headfirst into his education and artistic practice. While David’s foremost focus is in printmaking, he’s fearlessly explored myriad artistic mediums while a student at the University of Arizona’s School of Art. David credits his multi-disciplinary coursework as well as the School of Art’s professors as key components in his growth as an artist. As such, it is only fitting that David’s recommendation to incoming Fine Arts students is to “learn as much as you can, experience as much as you can, and to expose yourself to all the possibilities that the School of Art has to offer”. His close second recommendation is to at least once work from sunset to sunrise in the School of Art studios.
David’s fearless fervor for exploration led him to attend two competitive study abroad programs in Italy and Mexico as well as two highly respected international printmaking workshop in South Dakota and Nebraska. Through these programs, David realized the significance of creating one’s own artistic network. With this knowledge, David has crusaded to create a connected and approachable local art community right here in our very own city.
As Vice President of UA’s Wildcat Print Association, a club dedicated to promoting a prosperous printmaking community on UA’s campus, David has recruited students and seasoned artists alike to advance the clubs mission to unite experienced printmaking artists with UA students. In addition to the building a flourishing printmaking community on campus, David volunteers and exhibits his work at Raices Taller Gallery and Workshop in Tucson. During his shifts, David often stands outside the gallery entrance inviting local youth and pedestrians into the space. He says, “Art can be intimidating. But I want people to realize that art is there for everyone to experience”. David plans to continue inspiring community engagement by earning an MFA in printmaking, with the eventual goal of opening his own non-profit print shop & gallery to help troubled youth through art.