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Valentina Penaloza Ortega selected to receive full scholarship to highly-competitive arts summer program

  • Pathways & Partnerships

Burnsville High School (BHS) sophomore Valentina Penaloza Ortega has been selected to receive a full scholarship for a pre-college summer session in painting at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)

Valentina's experience in this competitive program will empower her to earn up to three college credits in the fine arts, while simultaneously developing her painting skills in the professional studio space at MCAD. She will be supported by a community of peers and professional instructors throughout the session and continue along her artistic journey that began at BHS.

In order to be chosen for such a prestigious honor, Valentina underwent a rigorous process creating a competitive portfolio of 10 paintings. In addition, she professionally photographed her paintings, titled each work and wrote descriptions. Furthermore, she wrote an artist statement explaining her artmaking process as well as identifying her goals for the program.

“It is her ability to understand and render these personal, yet universal experiences within her artworks that lead me to applaud Valentina’s receipt of full scholarship for the pre-college summer session,” said art teacher Nicole Soley.

Valentina is an ambitious student in the Fine Arts Pathway. In addition to her positive demeanor and leadership in visual art courses, she consistently demonstrates an impassioned dedication to continue learning and growing as an artist. In her paintings, she explores her identity and experiences as an American immigrant with Venezuelan roots, creating intentional visual references that are simultaneously personal and universal.

Soley added,  “I am so proud of Valentina; this is a truly remarkable accomplishment for a budding artist. I hope this experience solidifies for Valentina what is a strong beginning of her artistic legacy.”

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  • High School
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