Victoria teen wins college scholarships for Hispanic Heritage Month artwork

A 13-year-old Victoria girl won a $2,000 scholarship from the University of Houston-Victoria, a two-year tuition waiver from the Victoria College and will have her colored pencil artwork featured on posters advertising this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month events.

Morgan Gonzales
Morgan Gonzales

“I was really shocked,” said Morgan Gonzales, who completed the artwork this past school year as a seventh-grader at Howell Middle School. “I just entered the contest for the fun of it. I was really excited to win.”

Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest winner
Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest winner

Gonzales, daughter of Esther and Tony Kubicek, edged out 53 other middle school art students from Victoria and Port Lavaca to be named the winner of the Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest. Hispanic Heritage Month is held annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

The second- and third-place winners will be announced at the Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest Reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 16 in the Multi-Purpose Room of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The second-place recipient will receive a $1,000 college scholarship, and the third-place winner will receive a $500 college scholarship. Both of the scholarships may be used at either UHV or Victoria College and are donated by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Council.

“The entries are high-quality art. The students did a great job,” said Josie Rivera, coordinator of Hispanic Heritage Month activities and senior program development coordinator for the UHV Letting Education Achieve Dreams initiative.

The art contest was judged by community members Pete Munoz , Una Mae Jones and Ernestine Kidder.

Morgan’s artwork, titled “Tiempo de Cena,” or “Time for Dinner,” depicts a Hispanic woman making tortillas. She saw a photograph of the scene and decided to draw it.

“I just really loved it because it reminded me of how my grandma always used to make tortillas,” Morgan said.

Morgan plans on using her scholarship and waiver after she graduates from high school but is undecided about whether she wants to become a professional artist. The Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest was the first art contest she’s entered.

All of the contest entries will be on display in the UHV University Center during regular business hours from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month events, contact the LEAD office at 361-570-4893.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler