Gavin Fridley '24 Connects with Artist Roseta Santiago through "Aspen" Painting

Art provides a means of making connections for people – sometimes from artist to viewer, other times between viewers, and many times between generations as well. In sixth grade art class, teacher Maryjo Paz y Mino asked students to explore the works of a variety of artists and try to identify an artist and work with which they felt a connection. After learning about the artist and the art form, students would then sketch and develop a replica of the piece, finally culminating in a painting. Sixth grade student Gavin Fridley knew that he liked “western art,” but was having difficulty choosing an artist and painting for his project. He asked Ms. Paz y Mino for assistance, so she showed him some works of southwestern artist Roseta Santiago and showed Gavin some of her work. Gavin decided to create a replica of Santiago’s “Aspen” which depicts American Indian braves on horseback in the woods. Gavin worked independently over several weeks to complete his painting, deciding to gift his painting to a family friend who is about to be deployed. Ms. Paz y Mino was so impressed by Gavin’s passion and final product, that she sent a photo of Gavin’s painting to Santiago. Ms. Santiago was very excited to know that her work had inspired a child, “I was that child long ago,” she shared. Ms. Santiago has a book of her work being published later this year and promised to send a copy to Gavin and to Ms. Paz as a memento of the connection that their paintings made between them.