Multiple mediums of visual arts, singing, and acting were all interests for Rafael Vasquez throughout high school. He then discovered a different form of art.

“Prior to this year, I was still confused as to what I wanted to study in college, but I came to the decision that adding my two biggest passions which is fashion and art, and I have decided on getting a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. Not only do you need to have creativity, but you also must sketch your design and plan ways to have your piece come to life. My goal is to inspire other boys like me to be confident in themselves and not fear being different.”

Vasquez is the recipient of the Ivy and Fiona Elllis Arts/Homestead Center for the Arts Scholarship and will be attending Miami Dade College (MDC).

Enrique Roque wasn’t able to be at a formal presentation for the Baptist Health South Florida Homestead Hospital/ Homestead Center for the Arts scholarship as his summer classes at MDC started Monday, June 20, 2022; the same day as the HCA meeting,. His career choice is not a surprise as he does come from a family focused on the arts.

“My parents both went to New World School of the Arts. My father was in the school for Art and my mother for dance. I always grew up listening to all kinds of music and I’ve been in music for over 12 years. I played Trumpet and French Horn in middle and high school and for the past 3 years I have been self-taught in guitar.”

Although he is active in a band as well as writing songs, he’s majoring in in music business to become an audio engineer.

Amanda Anderson began in music as well, with the violin in elementary school. Her talent was recognized in her high school and church orchestras and drawing as a visual art was more a hobby. She came to realize that was the path she wanted to pursue, and she is majoring in Art Education.

“My career goal is to help adolescents find their voice through the arts. Being able to tell a story through your brush strokes or through the marks of your sculpture has always been my passion; I hope to teach that to students' and show them the beauty in art and how they can make a change in the world with just a few strokes of a bush or design.”

Sureily Marestein has always known visual arts was what stirred her. In struggling at times to find a place for her work, that changed during high school and her first year at MDC. Her pieces have been shown in almost two dozen different venues to include representing the District of Florida in the Congressional Art Competition in Washington D.C.

“It has been an honor, proud, and joy to be able to express myself through my artworks. The ability to inspire many people from the visual impact, emotional connections, and communication throughout my pieces. Art is a personal passion and a gift that I am grateful to have. Without art being part of my life, I wouldn’t be the kind of artist nor person that I am today.”

Caroline Jensen, Vice-President, HCA, and Scholarship Committee member, expressed appreciation to Baptist Health South Florida Homestead Hospital, the donor of the Ivy and Fiona Ellis Arts Scholarship, and Phillip Church of What If Works for their generous contributions.

Homestead Center for the Arts has individual, business, and Affiliate members that are non-profit groups devoted to local arts and culture.

A sample of those that meet year round are the East Everglades Orchid Society, the Lamplighters Writers Group, the South Florida National Parks Camera Club, and the Tropical Fruit and Vegetable Society.

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