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Valley Art teacher inspires students through Valley Metro contest

Tempe art contest Sydney Storments.PNG
Posted at 10:20 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 13:22:50-05

TEMPE, AZ — Of all the entries for Valley Metro’s ‘Design a Transit Wrap Contest,’ one Tempe Visual Arts teacher has found a stroke of success with several of her students placing in the contest over the years.

Visual Arts Teacher Regan Guzman of Marcos De Niza High School in Tempe says at least six of her art students have placed in the ‘Design a Transit Wrap Contest’ since 2016.

Three of her students won first place under her guidance which means the winning student’s design is wrapped on a Valley Metro bus for a full year. The high school student also wins a cash prize.

Guzman says she gives her students time in class and asks students to treat the assignment like they’re an artist getting paid.

“I want my students to understand that if you want to take your art out there in the workforce, you have to figure out what is it that I need to start doing?”

Being an art teacher at Marcos De Niza High is full circle for her. The Tempe high school is her Alma Mater.

She says she “lived” in her art classroom when she was a student there. Her art teacher encouraged her to take on leadership roles and enter contests which lead to validation through awards and grew her confidence in the belief that being an artist can be a career.

“When they win a competition like that, it’s like, ‘my art can be so much more. It doesn’t have to be just in the classroom,” said Guzman.

She’s now paying that lesson forward, in part, with the Valley Metro Contest.

Paintings, digital prints, and photography are accepted.

Student submissions are also asked to dabble as a copy writer.

“We as our students to come up with a slogan on why public transit is important,” said Madeline Phipps of Valley Metro.

The “Oh the Places We’ll Go” bus was done by Arcadia High School student, Kate Flores.

The contest deadline is Friday, February 11, by 5 p.m.