Rachel Nelson garners Santa Paula Society of the Arts art scholarship

September 24, 1999
Santa Paula News
Rachel Nelson was a doodler but when her parents urged her to take a commercial art class she spurned the suggestion. Now Rachel, a 1999 Santa Paula Union High School honors graduate, is a student at California State University Northridge, majoring in graphic design, and the recipient of the Santa Paula Society of the Arts Art Scholarship.A Santa Paula native, Rachel first got interested in art during her junior year of high school: “Oddly enough, my parents had wanted me to take commercial art but didn’t want to. . .once I took an art class I realized that was what I loved,” she said.During her exposure in the visual art program Rachel learned many different applications of the arts. “In the commercial art class I learned how to capture a consumer’s attention through simple, yet attractive, advertisements,” and created an ad for a school play. “In the computer fine arts course I was able to show my creative ability while using a fine art software program. . .my final project was to take three animals and combine them into one. It was a challenging project, but using the skills and knowledge of the computer program it was a success,” she noted.She has a burgeoning portfolio, each piece created using her new found skills and talents.During her senior year, Rachel discovered ceramics. “I love them,” and some of her pieces were featured in the SPUHS art exhibit at the Santa Paula Union Oil Museum.She also worked on the school mural, finding it “a lot of fun. . .I would get up early, go out in the freezing cold and had an opportunity to work with paints,” she said with a laugh.
A self-described doodler as a child, Rachel said teachers would “get really mad at me; I didn’t realize at that point it was a career.”Rachel had wanted to be a teacher, attorney or architect before her decision to become an artist. “I hope to pursue my career using my creativity and talents in the art and design field,” preferably for a “new and progressive” employer that would “inspire me to use my creativity. . .my preferred choice of work would be using graphic design to influence others.”Rachel’s enthusiasm for art as well as her talent garnered her the SPSA Art Scholarship, $250 to apply towards her studies, said Virginia Gunderson of the society of the arts. “She’s a very talented young woman and that talent is already being recognized,” Gunderson noted.

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