Meet Featured Artist, Heidi Gutierrez!
Gutierrez's artwork is on display now until December 27 at our University location, 2606 Guadalupe St.
The daughter of a single mother growing up in Juarez, Mexico, Gutierrez was raised in a traditional household, where art was considered more of a hobby than a viable career choice.
Gutierrez obtained a Master's degree in math from the University of Texas at El Paso and after graduation, she landed a stable job teaching high school math. Her love of art never left her, and she would come home from work and think to herself, "I wish I could paint." Eventually, she got ahold of some Bob Ross videos and began recreating his paintings, but always adding her own twist. She found painting to be relaxing; a kind of meditation. People responded well to her paintings and Gutierrez began giving them away as gifts.
One summer Gutierrez visited Austin and when she developed the itch to leave El Paso, the Capital City was the first option to come to mind. In Austin, she found herself teaching high school math once again. Gutierrez she told us, "I hung some of my paintings on the classroom walls to brighten up the space and I noticed a shift in my student’s behavior. They enjoyed my artwork, and they would ask me questions like, 'why are you teaching math when you’re an artist?'"
Upon moving to Austin, Gutierrez began taking painting more seriously. Living in a city that supports a creative class, Gutierrez felt more freedom to express herself as an artist. She became inspired when she began meeting other artists, and thought to herself, "Maybe if I practice more, I can be an artist too.” Her passion for painting drove her to take classes in New York City and Bali, Indonesia. She continued to receive positive feedback about her work, and that helped her develop self-confidence as an artist.