Westside Photography included in Exhibit at The Houston Museum of Fine Arts


Antonio Olivares, Beata Purvina and Brandon Ramos, all seniors have photography on exhibit at the MFAH

Westside High School photography students have been selected to have their work featured at the “Eye on Houston: High School Documentary Photography” exhibit in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The exhibit started January 12th and will end May 1st. Our featured artists are Ruth Lopez, Anneleise Sebesta, Brandon Ramos, Emily Rafferty, Beata Purvina, Janet Juarez, Yaaresi Garcia, and Leila Al-Haj. Artists with two pieces of art on display would be, Karina Ramirez, Antonio Olivares, Elena Carrasco, and Michelle Alva.

“It’s crazy, I mean its the Museum of Fine Arts!”, Senior Antonio Olivares described.  When asked how she felt about having a piece in the MFAH,  Beata Purvina, also a senior,  responded that she felt that she had achieved something, and that all her work has paid off.”I mean, its like our work in here with all these great works of art”, she said.   Most of them have already been to see their exhibit.  Antonio described “We made plans as a family to go see the exhibit, they were so proud.”  Beata was asked the same question, “My mom bought it”, she couldn’t help but laugh.

Some of these students didn’t start out with a passion for photography, but over time they started enjoying it more and more. Each having a different reason for their enjoyment. Antonio  said that he has always been surrounded by art, and when he got his first phone he started taking pictures and when his phones started getting better, so did his pictures.

Another big reason they, and other students here at Westside, enjoy photography so much is because they have so much support. Danielle Pontus, their teacher, is a huge supporter of them and their work. She provides a creative atmosphere for them to work, explore and grow. As Beata Purvina said “Ms. Pontus creates an environment of creativity and shows us crossroads but we figure out the turns.” Ms. Pontus keeps pointing them in the right direction, as they find their artistic talents. Being in the MFAH is a giant step for these students, and it will help them in the future with their careers.

Also showing work at the MFAH is  multi-talented Brandon Ramos, also a member of the class of 2016. Howler News asked Brandon how he first discovered photography.  “At a book signing. When I was around 10 my dad took me to a book signing, and he encouraged me to take pictures, he thought they were good, so the interest grew from there.  Brandon also has high praise for his instructor,  Ms Pontus.  “Everyday is completely different,  its never boring, something is always going on. She always finds something constructive about your work, even if you’re feeling awful about it, she will find something good about it and then help you fix it.”  Following graduation Brandon plans to continue developing his photography, and art.  “Right now my focus is on film, and having that photography base has helped me understand the lighting and design of film.”  Brandon said.

Antonio, Beata and Brandon with their mentor Ms. Pontis
Sharon Roberts
Antonio, Beata and Brandon with their mentor Ms. Pontis

It is a huge honor for Westside students to be exhibiting in the  MFAH.  If you want to go down to view the exhibit, MFAH is open everyday, except Monday.  On Thursday’s it is open till 9:00 PM, and admission is free.