Senior Eva Arochena Garcia has loved art since she was young. Growing up as an only child, she found entertainment in painting and coloring — especially watercolor. As she grew up, she stopped painting, but rediscovered the passion at age 14, before her move to the United States from Spain.
“I came to the U.S. when I was sixteen and had an art teacher that was super encouraging,” Garcia said. “And she made me realize that I could do this and I had something to show.”
Since coming to Whitworth, Garcia has dedicated herself to her passion, and is currently working on building her portfolio. Influenced by artists like Canadian photographer Petra Collins, Garcia often uses images as inspiration.
She also enjoys the material style of painters Lucian Freud or Francis Bacon, and how they leave the brush stroke visible, the large use of paint and expressiveness of their work. This leaves the images not “super perfect,” which is very fresh to her, Garcia said.
“I guess I’m interested in the darker side of life. I’m interested in private moments that are not supposed to be seen, and showing that intimacy and at the same time try to make the viewer a bit uncomfortable,” Garcia said. “I approach it from a photographic perspective. I’m a photographer too, so I always base all my paintings in photographs.”
Garcia has not always been encouraged to pursue art, however. Initially, her parents wanted her to study English before she switched her major, and she had some bad experiences with art teachers. Past teachers spoke negatively of her work, focusing on technique and not relating to her style.
After specializing in art in high school, Garcia came to Whitworth, and found herself with more freedom in her art.
As a senior, she has flexibility with her schedule, and can focus on classes to build her skill set while choosing her own subjects for her pieces.
One of her art professors, Gordon Wilson, enjoys her style, and encourages her to portray her visions, especially those that have centered her in life, Garcia said.
“A lot of people influence me — everything that I see influences me,” Garcia said
Currently, Garcia is working on five full paintings that she hopes to finish by the end of the semester. In the spring, she plans to compose another five to complete a ten-painting series.
Garcia is unsure if she wants to pursue an Masters in Fine Art program, but she wants to continue painting. Garcia hopes to build enough work to show at a local coffee shop back home, or to show work in a community center or even at Whitworth.
“I just want to develop a body of work that I can show,” Garcia said. “ at’s where I’m at right now.”
While she is still young and does not have much work for a gallery showing yet, she aims to simply have her art shown, Garcia said.
Whether it be in Spokane or back home in Michigan, Garcia wants build a collection that she can move around to feature in different places and start building a name for herself.
Contact Meghan Foulk at