X3 Inspired My Passion
By Kelly Contreras | X3 Intern from Health Leadership High School | October 10, 2019
I loved the hands-on work and how it paired with my senior project in art therapy.
You can come from any neighborhood, any background, and every talent you have is valuable.
My X3 internship really helped me find my passion. I started my first internship with the City of Albuquerque Public Art Department with my mentor Federico Vigil, the artist behind the Mundos de Mestizaje mural at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
The first day of my internship was great. I was learning how to make a mural using a fresco technique. My mentor put me to work experimenting with dry and wet inorganic pigment that is used on the walls for the final fresco process.
The main thing that I really struggled with was the layers of the fresco process. Each layer required specific and complex steps requiring layer after layer of sand, slaked lime, fiberglass and white cement. It was a lot to remember at the time but looking back, it was a good challenge.
The exciting part of the internship was being able to experiment and learn new things. I loved organizing the work space in order to make all the paints and art items more accessible, easy to find, and visitor friendly. When people visited, I got to give the tour, and explain everything we do, both in the internship program and in the studio.
I loved the hands-on work and how it paired with my senior project in art therapy. I was in a project-based class at Health Leadership High School, and my topic was mental health. I was looking for a senior project, so I decided on painting as a representation of mental health. At the time, my grandma had passed away and I became depressed. I remember thinking, “Let me write everything I'm feeling.” So I did. My art piece was in an auction and it sold! Half of the money was donated to a mental health organization. Thanks to this internship, my senior project in art therapy came together beautifully, and I graduated in the class of 2019!
Now, I am enrolling at Central New Mexico Community College. Career-wise I’m currently deciding between Criminal Justice or Nursing as a major. This internship helped me grow so much because even though I don’t know what my major is at the moment, these experiences helped me find out what I’m passionate about. This internship was the best!
Hear the other side of the X3 experience: Read the mentor story here. Learn more about the X3 Internship program here.