Many Las Artistas members share their knowledge and passion for their craft through a variety of educational and community activities.
Helen Ellison Dorion became involved with Las Artistas as a student in UTEP’s metals program, where she received her masters degree. She is now an adjunct instructor at the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, teaching introductory metalsmithing and jewelry design. A few years ago, Helen instructed students at the Canutillo High School and Anthony High School, which both received a minority outreach grant from Society of North American Metalsmiths.
Laura Aragon, a metalsmith artist, teaches art with the Socorro Independent School District, one of the school districts in El Paso. She teaches approximately 150 middle school students. Laura’s teaching method introduces not only the technique, but the artist associated with the art. She expands their minds with history and vocabulary related to each project. “It’s not just art, it’s the ability to comprehend and appreciate art, children are not only the future, but our future artist”. As an artist and art teacher, Laura ensures her students are given the opportunity to participate in art related opportunities, including the El Paso Community College Art Show and the Socorro District Art Show.
Laura’s work has been in various venues and exhibits throughout the country. Her jewelry is featured in several publications. Laura is currently part of an exhibition, Body Art: Contemporary El Paso Jewelry, at the El Paso Museum of Art in El Paso Texas..
Supporting arts education is a key part of our mission, and for the past 20+ years, Las Artistas, has provided support to the Metals and Ceramics programs at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The UTEP program uses donations from Las Artistas to provide educational opportunities, such as bringing in visiting artists and sending students to workshops and conferences.
A unique aspect of this educational partnership is that students from Metals and Ceramics programs are invited to participate in Las Artistas’ annual Art and Fine Crafts Show every November. Art students are given the opportunity to test their ideas and create art and learn place value on and sell their work. It’s a great learning experience for the students, giving them more confidence in themselves and their work. The show is a great place for students to make connections with working artists and craftspeople.