Alum discovers passion for art following advice from professor

by REBEKAH HARVEY

Many college students know what it is like to change their major.

For Catherine Argueta, changing her major was also part of her college experience.

Argueta was born and raised in Lubbock. She graduated from Lubbock High School in 2007.

After high school, Argueta decided to attend South Plains College, a decision she based on the smaller class sizes.

“Everything about SPC seemed like an easier transition from high school.” Argueta explained. “I absolutely loved being a Texan! All the professors were great. I especially loved my Art professors, which is why I ended up changing my major to Art.”

Argueta came to SPC majoring in Biology, with a minor in Art, but soon realized she enjoyed her Art classes more than her Biology classes.

“Both were equally stressful,” said Argueta. “But I felt that I was more focused in my Art and Art History classes, therefore I was more successful.”

Argueta also knew she wanted to work with children. After talking to professor Allison Black, she learned about the Visual Studies program at Texas Tech University.

“She (Black) talked about how a teaching certificate in Art was a bit different than other subject areas,” explained Argueta, “and that once I received my certificate, I could teach any grade level I wanted. Once I heard that, I jumped on board and changed my major.”

After attending SPC, Argueta transferred to Texas Tech. Where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Studies with an emphasis in painting. She also received her teaching certificate so she could teach art.

“I love having the ability to showcase my students’ work,” said Argueta, who now teaches art at Cavazos Middle School in Lubbock. “We do lots of exhibits and competitions throughout the year, and now you can always find Cavazos artwork throughout our community, like the South Plains Fair, the Civic Center, the Arts Festival, et cetera…”

When she isn’t teaching art, Argueta spends most of her time with her kids, Catalina, 2 , and Jason, 8.

“I also think it is important to continue creating,” explained Argueta, “so I always make sure to do my own art, whether it’s a small five by five drawing or painting, or just doing the projects I assign to my students, whatever it is, as long as I keep my artistry going and growing.”

For anyone pursuing a similar path, Argueta advises others to “keep at it.”

“I think a lot of people have this misconception of what art school is about,” said Argueta, “like it’s easy. It isn’t. I spent countless nights studying or in a studio. It is definitely hard work, but you just have to keep going and doing what you feel is necessary.”

She also advises to be prepared for the emotions of teaching.

“I think this is what a lot of first-year teachers struggle with,” Argueta explained. “Kids can be difficult sometimes, but they are also so, so amazing.”

Despite the struggle at times, Argueta knows that what she is doing has impacted many students.

“It’s definitely worth it when a student tells you how much you’ve impacted their life,” said Argueta, “and how grateful they are to have you as their teacher.”