The following is a profile of a current student well on his way to success thanks to those who make generous donations to the Institute's scholarship funds.
Abel is the first person in his family to attend college. He grew up on an ostrich farm in central California and was encouraged to pursue his love of art by his father, a farm worker who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. With little knowledge about the financial aid system, Abel all but gave up on his dream of becoming an artist and worked as an accountant in Los Angeles for eight years. It was not until he met several alumni from the CalArts' School of Art that his desire to pursue his artistic goals was reawakened and, with his new friends' encouragement, he apllied to and was accepted by the Program in Art at CalArts.
Scholarship funds from the Ahmanson Foundation have allowed Abel to devote himself to his artmaking and he has explored the full scope of his creative interests at the Institute, including painting, photography, sound, video, and graphic design as well as collaborative projects with musicians and filmmakers. His expectations for his life, and for his artmaking, have been transformed by his experiences at CalArts and this spring he is fulfilling a life-long dream to study in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.