Local artist, teacher, father: Andrew Horvath

Andrew Horvath is the recipient of a $500 grant to help continue his work as a Masters Art Student at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

A message from the artist:

As a single dad, I have my kids 1/2 time and work 50 plus hours a week in public education. Even with this schedule, painting is the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep.

My boys have grown up to the familiar sight of me building and stretching canvas in the kitchen. And since my kitchen is my workshop, then my bedroom is my studio; often falling asleep to the smell of oil paints and terpenoids (Don’t worry, I leave the windows open).

I was born to immigrant parents and had some language barriers when I first started school. Eventually I was a high school drop out. This is the root of my work in education, I noticed right away that the system isn’t made to suit everyone’s needs.  Currently I work with a drop out recovery program and many other programs to help young people.

I started studying education at NAU, but also practicing painting on the side as a hobby. Which quickly grew into a life passion.

That’s where I met Franklin Willis and he was a bit of  a mentor for me as he helped me continue my degree in education, but still allowed me senior level independent painting studies where I learned to build and stretch canvas. I met gallery owners and started to explore contemporary and modern art.

I continued my career in education for almost 10 years, working with refugees and high poverty all over the valley. As proud as I am of the contributions that I have made as an educator, I would like to pursue things in a different direction. I have decided to apply to Grad School this month (As the deadline is fast approaching) I want to grow the arts in my community. I want to help young people and other artists believe that it is realistic to build a career in the arts, and I want my testimonial to be an inspiration to them! My ultimate goal is to graduate with an MFA, and work to get an artist residency program funded in the desert.

I enjoy living small, although working in education hasn’t given me many alternatives. I have a garden in flower pots outside of my apartment full of kale, different types of tomatoes, basil and jalapeños. It is important for me to break barriers and make it work! No matter what the circumstances. Recently, I spoke to an artist who couldn’t believe I stretch my own canvas and said to me that they do not have the space to do those things. To their surprise, they have more time and space than I do. It’s like that saying from the Dali Lama, “Everyone should meditate for 30 minutes a day, unless we are too busy, then we should meditate for an hour a day.”

My inspiration comes from life and nature. It is everywhere, full of history, people and their ideas, their suffering and their healing. I love to find cultures and explore religious artifacts, to hear people speak about what they believe, where the only evidence they have is passion!

Every day I try to add positive things to my daily practice, and remove the things that cause suffering for myself or for others.

There was a time in my life when I thought I had nothing.  …Today I know that I have everything. The only thing that has changed is my perspective.

Warmest regards!

And love!

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