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April 4, 2012

Cowley student accepted to Kansas City Art Institute


Maribel RamirezDriven by her passion for art, Cowley College student Maribel Ramirez was recently accepted to attend the Kansas City Art Institute.

Ramirez, who was the Cowley College Art Club Student of the Year during the 2010-2011 academic year, also had offers from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR, and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA.

At the Kansas City Art Institute, Ramirez will have her own studio space.

“I have always wanted to be an artist since I was about 3 or 4 years old,” Ramirez said. “It’s far enough away from home that I can have a sense of individuality, but it is also close enough that I can come back home when I want to.”

Ramirez’s artwork primarily consists of oil paintings, portraits, and drawings done in colored pencils.

“I like to capture a sense of the person and their personality,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez finished her degree requirements at Cowley College in May, 2011, but returned to the school this past fall to build up her art portfolio and also take some business classes. Art instructor Mark Flickinger has enjoyed having Ramirez in class.

“She has a wonderful work ethic, a strong sense of color and a good sense of design,” Flickinger said. “She is always pushing herself. It is a real treat to work with people interested in learning.”

Learning from Flickinger has been rewarding and entertaining said Ramirez.

“It has been a unique experience,” Ramirez said. “I have met some amazing people at Cowley, we are like a tight knit family. We all feed off each other and inspire one another. The teachers here are awesome and my artwork has improved greatly.”

Some of Ramirez’s work will be on display and for sale at the Final Friday art crawl in Wichita’s historic Oldtown district, Friday, April 27 from 7-10 p.m. at 416 S. Commerce. The event, which will feature a variety of works done by Cowley students and faculty, is free and open to the public.

Away from Cowley, Ramirez works with ESL (English as a Second Language) students at Arkansas City High School.

“I love working with the students and showing them a different method of learning,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez’s goal is to obtain a master’s degree in art history and painting. She hopes to one day teach at the high school or collegiate level and then establish her own art program or art school.

“Whenever you have a student like Maribel it makes my job more challenging and more fun,” Flickinger said.