Losing Focus in Class is Paying off for Senior Artist

Alec Buitron

PLAINVIEW – Admittedly, Alec Buitron probably should have paid more attention in class. But if he had, the Wayland Baptist University senior might not be preparing for his senior art show while three of his pieces are hanging simultaneously in an art gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Buitron, from Brownsville, is graduating on April 24 with a degree in two-dimensional art. It’s a far cry from the engineering degree he originally thought he’d pursue, but it made sense based on his love and pursuit of art from an early age.

“Ever since I was a kid … I should have focused more in class,” Buitron said. “But it was hard for me to focus at times. A lot of my time in class, I would doddle pretty much every day on every paper. I wasn’t the best student, but I tried my hardest and, of course, I made it fun with my little doodles and that just carried on through the years.”

Fortunately for Buitron, those doodles turned into class work once he enrolled in the art program at Wayland. While his preference is acrylic painting, Buitron’s graphic design work is garnering attention. Recently, three pieces he created for a graphic design course were selected for inclusion in the 11th Lessedra International Painting and Mixed Media Exhibition at the Lessedra Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria. His work is among 127 pieces accepted from 30 countries. Of the 9 other American artists selected, four of them are art professors at other colleges and universities.

Buitron’s pieces were a project for his Elements of Art and Principles of Design course with Professor Dejan Mraović in the Spring 2020 semester. The photo montage project was designed to use Adobe Photoshop to create surrealist, dreamlike compositions. The pieces included an image of a rhinoceros with a glowing blue crystal in place of its horn, a turtle with a meadow and small house on its back in place of a shell, and a seascape with a diamond shape hovering over the water. Coming out of the diamond shape is a forest and flock of birds.

Buitron said Mraović told him about the Bulgarian art show and encouraged him to submit some pieces.

“I had submitted pieces to other art competitions and no one ever got back to me,” Buitron said. “But something was just different about this one, and I actually got an email back saying all three of my pieces had been accepted.”

Buitron said he enjoys submitting artwork to shows and competitions.

“I do it whenever I can,” he said. “It’s a validation thing. I feel like [the work] is good, but I also want to see if others see it the way I do.”

As graduation approaches, Buitron, who was also a member of the Pioneer baseball team, isn’t sure where life will take him, but he does know that he wants to continue with his art and live a life that is creative.

“I feel like that’s what I am supposed to do,” he said. “Whatever it is, I really hope that is has to do with me using my mind to create something for others to see. It’s nice to be able to use my art to say what’s on my mind, but without words.”

Buitron has 16 pieces scheduled for the senior art show will open April 9 in the Malouf Abraham Family Art Center in the lower level of the Wayland library. Admission is free and artwork will be available for purchase.