Art students had the opportunity to foster their talents and creativity during free summer art classes held at the Bodega in Poteet.
The classes were open to high school art students who demonstrated talent and the desire to learn more from June 19-23. The classes were hosted by Irene Ramos and Poteet High School art teacher Ruth Olivares. However, open studio sessions began after the students asked if they could continue to come back.
There were talks over the years about offering art classes in the community of Poteet. After Ramos had a discussion with Olivares in January, they decided to begin planning the summer art class. They invited 13 high school students who showed an interest and promise in the field of art, 11 of which participated this summer. Olivares and Ramos have long hoped to bring more opportunities to create art to the community of Poteet.
“I think that the kids see this [art programs] happening on TV elsewhere and it’s untouched. They can’t touch it or reach it because it’s out there. When you bring it here, it gives them a chance to realize that they can be a part of something bigger. They realize the inner artist in them is really there, and it really allows them to bring it out,” said Olivares.
The Bodega has held a few art classes for adults and hopes to continue to offer more in the future. Olivares and Ramos have been able to purchase supplies mostly out of their own pockets, but they are working towards becoming a certified nonprofit organization. The students’ experience and ability to create freely, though, has been priceless, they said.
“They’ve given me the opportunity to channel my artistic ways. I’ve kind of been looking for something like this for a while,” said art program participant Isaiah Shaver. “I had always wished there was an art class in Poteet and thought it would be cool. I really like working and just getting all of this out and learning different ways of art.”