Youngest winner ever of world’s oldest conjunto festival’s poster contest earns hallowed honors

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By Amanda Lozano
La Prensa de San Antonio

san-antonio

SAN ANTONIO: Every year artists, students and citizens gather their artistic talents and create pieces of art hoping theirs will be the one to help showcase the world’s oldest Conjunto festival in the world: San Antonio’s Tejano Conjunto Festival.

This year, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center picked its youngest winner to ever of their poster contest. The winner of the 2014 contest was 6th grader Abel Hernandez. Hernandez is an Edgewood Independent School District student who attends Brentwood
Middle School.

He beat out professional artists for the spot and amateurs alike. His work is a very unique perspective of Conjunto music.

Instead of a traditional painting or drawing, Hernandez used scissors, glue and colored paper to make his vision a reality.

“I cut paper from magazines and newspapers and put them together,” Hernandez said. “I like the colors and layering shapes over other shapes.”

Hernandez was honored in a ceremony and presented with a $1,000 check for his work.
As he approached the podium to receive his award, his peers offered plenty of moral support.

“Abel! Abel!” rang the cafeteria, as classmates of Hernandez cheered and waved handmade posters.

Hernandez’s work will be used for all the Tejano Conjunto Festival materials including t-shirts, posters and passes. The posters are a coveted Fiesta collector’s item to some.

Brentwood Middle School has had its share of artists, as a semester prior another student won a prize for a piece of art submitted for Altarcitos in the Barrio, another Fiesta favorite.

Art teacher Ms. Diana Valdez may have a lot to do with that, as she encourages her students to express what they feel through the power of art.

“Our students are very motivated, and I am blessed to have these children in my class so willing to work and learn,” Valdez said. “We have been blessed for our students to win prizes and recognition every year, but we have never won something this big. We are very proud of Abel.”

Featured Photo: Abel Hernandez smiles as he stands next to his poster, which was selected as overall winner in the Tejano Conjunto Festival. He is the youngest winner of the prestigious award. (Photo, Amanda Lozano)

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