A grant from the Foundation will reorganize the NTO gallery

With a grant from the Education Foundation, George HW Bush New Tech Odessa art teacher Jesus Valeriano decided to revamp an exhibition space for the work of students, teachers, and even the community.

He received a $5,876 grant from the Educational Foundation for the Enkindle Gallery.

The grant went to a new suspension and lighting system, Valeriano said.

“We had a gallery, but for the past two years it’s been a COVID room,” he said.

Principal Gerardo Ramirez said each campus must have a designated area to limit exposure to COVID. At the NTO, it was the art gallery.

With the grant, the gallery will reopen.

“I just got the stuff for this last week,” Valeriano said.

He added that probably in the next few weeks he will induct a National Art Society chapter and the opening of the gallery.

“We are delighted to update our art gallery, thanks to the Education Foundation. Our art learners are thrilled. They have been working diligently to prepare for the reopening of the art gallery,” director Gerardo Ramirez said in a text message.

Valeriano said the grant will make the gallery super cool.

“We really have everything we could have dreamed of to create a real gallery,” Valeriano said.

Last year, he won a grant for the equipment of the Phoenix ceramic room. They had pottery wheels, but they had to borrow kilns from Permian High School or the University of Texas Permian Basin.

“But this year we finally put in place… the ventilation system and all the necessary protections against it.”

NTO has about 150 students in its art program. The school has about 500+ students.

“The art program is really good and the kids are participating, so even when they’re not making art, they’re competing and participating in the state art competitions,” Valeriano said.

The students were working on the National Fossil Art Competition which he said he has won every year since they started doing it. The competition is organized by the National Park Service.

They also participate in VASE, or the Visual Arts School Event.

“We do pretty well every year. We won two state spots last year, and hopefully we can do it again this year,” Valeriano said.

Valeriano encouraged other teachers to apply for Educational Foundation grants. They like grants that will help students discover things or see things from a different perspective.

“They support you. The help is there,” Valeriano said.

The Foundation holds workshops to help teachers write grants.

“They really aren’t complicated. They are super easy to write. They really almost give you a step by step of the things you need. And I think people have the wrong idea of ​​what writing a grant entails. It’s really easy and if they see that your plan is going to make your school better and help your kids get a different perspective on what they’re learning, they’ll be 100% behind you,” Valeriano said.

He already has two scholarships.

“And they’re going to change schools. One of my arguments for my grant for the ceramics room was the sanity of the staff so that all the teachers could go pottery. It’s very therapeutic,” he added.

He hopes the first show will showcase the work of ECIDD employees.

“It’s really amazing. I think they impact more people than they realize. It’s really great. I’m thinking of setting up the whole pottery room and now having a whole gallery , it’s a dream for me. I have my classroom and everything, but now I have a pottery room and now I have a whole gallery,” Valeriano said.

For an art teacher like him, he says, it’s like a dream.

“It may sound simple, but it isn’t, but it’s all about curation. It really is a step above for any art teacher, or even for children. They will know what it is like to run an art gallery,” he added.

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