Alum helps student with art project
Since Richie Peña's time as a Falcon, he’s gone on to earn his master’s in art but most recently, has landed his dream job

Richie Peña graduated from UT Permian Basin with a Bachelor’s in Art in 2017. “Mario Kiran, the art department's program coordinator and printmaking professor, played a significant role in who I am today. With his guidance and constant involvement, he created opportunities for his students to succeed.”

1_ellen_noel_community_art_day_potsnprints-1.jpgPeña said his time as a student and volunteering with PotsNPrints, a mobile art studio that focuses on bringing ceramics and printmaking to schools in West Texas, helped solidify his love for art. “Other UTPB art students and I would join Kiran and Chris Stanley in demonstrating these art processes. PotsNPrints gave us art student’s opportunities in leadership, teaching, and connecting with communities outside the UTPB campus.”

Since his time as a Falcon, he’s gone on to earn his master’s in art but most recently, has landed his dream job. “I will be working for AmeriCorps as an artist in residence for Imagine Art in Austin. Imagine Art is a non-profit organization specializing in supporting and empowering artists with disabilities. As artists in residence, we get to show them new ways to explore their visual language in ceramics, drawing, painting, fiber, and three-dimensional artworks.”

Peña, who is from Del-Rio, says he wouldn’t be where he is today without becoming a Falcon. He hopes other aspiring artists will see all the great things the UTPB Art Program has to offer.

“Since my time at UT Permian Basin, I have noticed a strong sense of leadership and teamwork skills. All based on my involvement with organizations and the art department. UTPB continues to grow to allow students and faculty members to come together to make sure everyone succeeds and enjoys their time at such a wonderful campus.”