July 2022 Alumni Spotlight: Fernando Pizano

A graduate of the NMSA Visual Arts program, Fernando Pizano (R) is pictured visiting his brother Hugo (L), an NMSA Dance graduate, in New York City earlier this year.

Fernando is currently majoring in engineering at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. He explains how both his arts and academic training at NMSA have helped him in his current engineering studies: “In junior year of high school I took a 3D Design course with Professor Claybrook using Software Blender (3D modeling software). I got a good understanding of proportion and scale, how to navigate around those things. I also learned about presentation and how to visualize in advance.” Next semester at NMSU, he is particularly looking forward to the lab elements of his engineering courses, which will in a way continue the hands-on experience that he had with art at NMSA.

From the beginning of Fernando’s arts training here, teachers made a difference. “I was extremely shy freshman year,” shares Fernando. “My painting instructor Mr. Machin really helped me come out of my shell that year, and learn how to offer and receive criticism. He helped me become the person I am today.”

Outside of his Visual Arts training, Fernando also really appreciated NMSA academic teachers’ perseverance in ensuring that each and every student would succeed. “If they were missing an assignment, they would chase after you,” Fernando says, laughing. “Senior year in particular, Mr. Durnin was so persistent. Without him I wouldn’t be as focused. Thanks to him I stopped thinking English class was boring, and my general education classes at university flew by; he gave me an appreciation for reading, and even writing essays!”

Not wanting to leave anyone out, Fernando emphasized that so many different teachers made a positive difference for him over the course of his four years at NMSA: “Every time I go back and visit I see all of my old instructors and our bond is still close. We have a different conversation every time and how much they impacted my life and how much their teaching helped me move forward.”

We wish Fernando all the best with his continued engineering studies, and can’t wait to see what he achieves next!