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Karissa Gonzalez-Othon: Stand Out Art Student in Colorado Springs

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Karissa Gonzalez-Othon: Stand Out Art Student in Colorado Springs

From Rhonda Van-Pelt’s article in the Colorado Springs Independent.

Karissa Gonzalez-Othón stands out among other 17-year-olds at the Vanguard School, an offshoot of Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy. But she’s an absolute star at Imagination Space, the Imagination Celebration facility in the Citadel mall; her work in the Young People’s Art Exhibition, which displayed 325 pieces, is festooned with ribbons.

Her life-sized sculpture of an African warrior, which sprang entirely from Gonzalez-Othón’s imagination, won best of show. Her oil of a woman with unforgettable eyes took first place in painting — an amazing feat, considering she took up the medium just last year.

“I do like oil painting,” she says shyly. “I like to do people in general.” Not bad for her second public art appearance.

Her teacher, Greg Custer, thinks so highly of her talent that he began working with her after school when she couldn’t fit art classes into her schedule.

“She’s fabulous,” he says. “We went up for a portfolio review in Denver, and the Kansas City Art Institute was there and she showed her work to the gentleman there. He just kept looking at it and looking at her. Finally he said, ‘I look at portfolios for all incoming students, and I don’t see something like this every year. This is a once-in-three-years portfolio.’”