Last Updated: February 4, 2020, 8:19 pm

Making a difference in DSU’s art program

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Zaida Amavizca, a junior studio art major from St. George, currently has pieces being showcased in the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons. You support her by following her on instagram @tournesolee. Photo by Nickelle Blanton.


If you have a passion for art, then you should look into Dixie State University’s art department.

Del Parsons, professor of art, didn’t want to spend his days in solitary painting so he turned to teaching and giving opportunities to students.

Parsons said, “I wanted more of a full life and so I applied.”

DSU’s art department offers 5 majors to help you pursue a life of art and individual expression. The majors Dixie’s art department offers are emphasizes in: ceramics, animation, illustration, digital imagery, art, studio art and art education. DSU also offers minors in art, art history and photography.

“For me, art is a part of my own self. It’s a form of expression that I use to transmit emotional power to people. With my art, I want to bring people to a different reality, to something unknown.”

Zaida Machado Amavizca, junior studio art major

Aside from majors, DSU’s art program also has an art museum that is located in the Delores Dore Eccles Fine Arts Center. The museum is home to many different pieces of art, from paintings to sculptures. Every President’s Day weekend, the Sears Dixie Invitational Art Show and Sale takes place and allows for students like Zaida Machado Amavizca, a junior studio art major, to showcase their works.

Amavizca said, “As an art student, I have been able to showcase my work at the Arrowhead Gallery, Sears Art Museum, DiFore Center, St. George Museum, Zions Bank Gallery and a solo exhibition at the Holland building.”

She was granted awards for her solo exhibition in the Holland Centennial Commons building such as the Dean’s Choice Award at the 2019 student exhibition.

Amavizca got started in [DSU’s] art program after she graduated high school, where she pursued a degree in art-painting but later changed to the bachelor’s of fine arts with an emphasis in studio art.

Amavizca said, “This major [studio art] allows art students to explore and focus most of their college education on art.”

Aside from creating art inside a classroom or studio, Amavizca has a very emotional and personal connection to her artworks.

Amavizca said, “For me, art is a part of my own self. It’s a form of expression that I use to transmit emotional power to people. With my art, I want to bring people to a different reality, to something unknown.”

Amavizca said she wants to show different perspectives of the world through her art and wants the viewer to be embraced fully in the art so that they may see the world with different, more creative eyes.

Amavizca said, “With my work, I try to make an impact on people and their different aspects of life.”

There are many other students like Amavizca who are pursuing their passion of art and are taking advantage of what DSU has to offer.

Samantha Lyden, a freshman art major chose DSU’s art department with independence in mind.

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Lyden said, “I looked into their art department and it seemed very genuine and independent.”

The art department at Dixie allows for students to students like Lyden and Amavizca to have an outlet for their majors.

Lyden said, “It’s my life’s passion. It’s my ambition. We all were coloring in kindergarten but everyone else kind of stopped after fifth grade and I kept going.”

DSU’s art program has much to offer students who are looking at pursuing a degree in art.

Amavizca said, “I believe that there is nothing more important as creating every day next to art mentors that teach you new skills, encourage you and keep motivating you to be a great artist.”

If you have a passion for art check out all that DSU’s art program has to offer. For more information about courses and degrees you can contact Van Mangus, advisor for arts at 435-879-4683 or email him at Van.Mangus@dixie.edu

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