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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Estefania Puerta, 2017

MFA, Yale University

Estefania Puerta is an immigrant from Colombia

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA in Printmaking, Painting at Yale University

Estefania Puerta Grisales was born in Colombia and immigrated with her mother to Boston at the age of two. Estefania’s father had come to the US the year before. Finally reunited, Estefania’s parents set out to work hard and pursue a future in which she could be the first in the family to graduate from college and have a better life.

It was during high school that Estefania discovered her love of art and literature. Art gave Estefania a new world to discover and cultivate. She went to the art museums in Boston and learned about art history, including the lack of inclusion and representation of women artists from different cultural backgrounds.

After high school, Estefania pursued a degree in community and international development at the University of Vermont. Not only did she get hands-on experience working with vulnerable populations, but she was also able to take art classes and cultivate her love of creative expression. As fruitful as this time was, Estefania was still unable to pursue certain endeavors due to her immigration status. She is grateful for the professors who pushed her to improve on her work and keep pursuing her dream.

Since graduating from college, Estefania has become a US citizen. With the newly found privilege of citizenship, she is committed to ensuring others are given the same encouragement and support she was given while living in the shadows. Estefania has finally been able to follow her dream of being an artist. She is currently pursuing her MFA in painting and printmaking at the Yale University School of Art. She hopes to deepen her critical approach to her art practice and create space for more immigrant Latina artists in the art world.

  • Estefania Puerta GIF
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Education
  • BS Community Development | University of Vermont 2010
Awards
  • St. Botoloph Emerging Artist Award
  • AIGA Worldstudio Scholarship
Work History
  • Shanti Healing Network, Creative Development Instructor | 2016 - 2016
  • Vermont Migrant Education Program and Bridges to Health Vermont, Education Recruiter and Migrant Health Promoter | 2014 - 2016
  • University of Vermont and Department of Children and Families, Kinship Foster Care Instructor | 2011 - 2015
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