Gonzalez Named Artist of the Month, Recognized by PA Art Education Association


Christinna Longenecker

Dulce Gonzalez, who was awarded Youth Artist of the Month by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association, was inspired by both her family and Mexican heritage to create her vibrant art.

Oxirydiana Salas-Carmona, Staff Writer

Most people go through adolescence trying to figure out what they’re good at, what interests them, and what makes their life worthwhile. Senior Dulce Gonzalez, however, has the opposite problem: she’s good at everything she loves.

Gonzalez was announced the winner of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association Youth Artist of the Month for the month of March. Her commitment and advocacy in her community won over the thousands of teacher in Pennsylvania convincing them she’s just right for this position.

Gonzalez had no clue that she was even nominated for this award in the first place. “I actually got nominated by my art teachers, Guido, Kirker, Noce, and Knopf, and they surprised me with the award,” she said. “I didn’t know about it until I came back from winter break. Guido came up to me with a laptop when I was in the ceramic room saying, ‘Dulce read this!’ I started to read it and I was shocked at what I saw.”

Throughout Gonzalez’s high school years, she has been experimenting with many interests and career choices, including music, art, and even medicine. “I thought that I was going to be very good at music in the beginning because I was very heavily involved with band, and also at that moment, I was first chair in the schools band,” Gonzalez said.

Her thriving high school music career had to come to a stop, however, once she felt like she couldn’t go very far with music. The first years of Gonzalez’s high school career was spent focused on her music, but as the years went on, her love and interest of music became something she put on the back burner of her life. “Overall I felt like music wasn’t for me even though, I did good and I accomplished a lot but it just didn’t feel the same than what I felt with art,” she said.

Gonzalez started to become phenomenal at anything and everything involved with art, but she never thought that this developing skill would take her far. “I thought my work was very personal and I just kept it to myself, but over the years when I started to get involved in more activities, I started to get more open about my artwork, so I started to share it more,” she confessed. “I’m actually really surprised [my artwork] made it this far. If I thought about this during my freshman year, I wouldn’t have thought that my artwork would come this far.”

While Gonzalez continues to make Norristown Area High School a much brighter school with her participation on the mural that is displayed near the cafeteria, she can’t take all the credit for her artistic accomplishments. “My background influences my art heavily because I come from a family who are very artistically influential,” she stated. “My mother, she loves sewing and she does a lot of embroidery designs. My brother likes to draw and my cousins draw too, and it made me practice drawing as well, making me explore it a little.”

Memories and events also help her create meaningful art. “The family bonding that I have with my mother is very special to me, and I reflect it by creating works of art that portray love, happiness and caring.”

Gonzalez’s inspiration isn’t only pulled by her talented family members but by her Hispanic background as well. “I think that most of my inspiration comes from Mexican culture,” she stated proudly. “I love the vibrant colors and also the different Mexican artists like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. They’re very well known, but I like the concept of having the colors portrayed and the agriculture and the paintings. It really makes the pieces pop.”

With the award in the palm of her hand, Gonzalez wants to show the world the purpose of her artwork. “My goal in the art world is to put a new perspective through art so people, or viewers, have a different perception or viewpoint of a topic that I’m trying to portray.”

Gonzalez’s artwork is rapidly taking off, and she shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. “In the future, I want to use my artwork to exercise more emotional intelligence and critical thinking and also expand my creativity because I feel like creativity can help you think of alternative solutions to problems.”

Although, like her music career, art could one day become a hobby. Gonzalez actually didn’t apply to art schools but instead to traditional colleges with the intentions of majoring in Psychology next fall. “For a while I was very interested in psychiatry when I was younger, and growing up, I had a close family member who was suffering through depression and anxiety. Having an ability to help counsel and medicate people and treat their mental health illnesses is something that I gravitated towards even though I’m open to other fields of medicine. I was also interested in being a pediatrician, and I work really well with younger kids.”

Gonzalez applied to schools she believed would aid her on her journey to become a Psychiatrist. “I applied to Penn State, which I did get accepted to on main campus, West Chester, which I didn’t get in, Drexel, I’m still waiting on that one, and I also applied to NYU.”

In the end, can only choose one school. “I’m leaning more [towards] Penn State because they offered me a lot of money to go. Also, I like the school because it’s a big school and I feel like I would have a lot of activities to do there.”

Overall, Gonzalez will have a bright future wherever she decides to end up after her time in Norristown Area High School.  She will take with her the values she developed as an artist and continue to make her mark on this world.