May 3, 2023 821 PM
SAN MARCOS — On Friday, four Marfa seniors piled into a Suburban to head to State VASE (Visual Art Scholastic Event) in San Marcos, Texas. Alex Luna, the advancing artist, chose three friends to accompany him on the trip. That night, the students and Ms. Adele Powers checked into the hotel and headed to the outlet mall after dinner on the river.
On Saturday, Luna, Juan Bautista, Aubrie Aguilar, Tori Torres and Powers went to San Marcos High School to see all the works that advanced to State VASE displayed in the school’s gyms. The effect was overwhelming: of the 32,000 artworks submitted to regional VASE competitions throughout Texas, only 2,000 advanced, putting Alex’s work in the top 6% of all artwork made by high schoolers throughout the state.
The Marfa students and Powers wandered through the makeshift galleries in awe, frequently taking pictures and expressing delight after finding Alex’s drawing, entitled “Adrift in Mental Space,” a pink and blue Prismacolor self portrait.
That afternoon, the group continued to make the most of San Marcos: going on a glass-bottom boat tour and seeing the aquarium at Texas State’s The Meadows Center, eating barbecue, taking a dip in the river and braving a few rapids in inner tubes.
On Sunday, the ride back to Marfa was mostly silent — the students slept, exhausted, as Ms. Powers drove them back home.