Texas Southmost College Art student Natalia Salinas recently gave art goers a look into her soul during the college’s annual spring semester Capstone Art Exhibit at the TSC International Technology, Education and Commerce Center (ITECC) Fine Arts Gallery.

The 21-year-old, who was one of 12 Painting II students exhibiting art, showcased her collection of paintings titled, “A Good Look into my Soul.”

“My paintings are a reflection of who I am and highlight my struggles with mental health,” said Salinas. “If you look at my paintings, you’ll see they all include mirrors, that’s a self-analysis and I hope that my art is relatable to others and sprouts important discussions about mental health.”

Salinas has been painting since middle school and validated her career choice early on by deciding she would grow up to be an artist. Through her art, like the pieces displayed at TSC Fine Arts Gallery, she raises awareness on important or taboo topics.

TSC Art student Natalia Salinas

“I want my art to begin conversations and to streamline issues others are afraid to speak of,” she said. “I’m so thankful and happy to TSC and our Art Instructor, Robert Andes, for giving us this opportunity to express ourselves, while learning, training and gaining real-world experiences.”

Andes said this art exhibit has been a longtime tradition for the program to give students like Salinas the opportunity to showcase their work.

TSC Art-Exhibit

“I’m so proud of every one of my students, they have worked so hard to get here,” said Andes. “They have not only painted and prepared presentations for this art show, but they have also organized it, working tirelessly to ensure it’s a positive experience for everyone.”

Andes’ Painting II students created their art series at the beginning of the semester and have worked since January to improve and finalize every piece displayed.

In this class, students learn and apply their skills in paint layering, color schemes, color variation and visual depth, putting in more than 30 hours, including early mornings, evenings and weekends to finish their series.

“This gives my students a little taste into the world of art and what is expected of them as artists,” said Andes. “For many, this is their first art show and to give them this experience as students is invaluable. It’s one of my favorite moments of the year.”

As for Salinas, this is her fourth art show, second at TSC, and said she still learns something new every time and that these experiences help her improve and grow as an artist.

“I never thought I would be able to show as much work as I have at only 21,” said Salinas, who expects to graduate with an associate degree in Art later this year. “TSC has given me the tools I need to continue mastering my skills and opened my eyes to new opportunities.”

Andes added, “New opportunities, is exactly what we want for our students and these art shows give them just that.”

For more information about TSC’s Art program, visit tsc.edu.