The Rapidian

Kendall student raises money to study in Italy

Local college student travels across the world to study the Renaissance.

/Courtesy of Salvador Jimenez

Underwriting support from:

"Help me get to Florence"

Donate to help Salvador Jiménez get to Florence, and the artist will send a "thank-you" in the form of artwork.

  • $5 thank you! card (digital print)
  • $10 raffle ticket to win porcelain skull bottle
  • $15 2in x 3in “La Mascara” trading card (hand made collage)
  • $40 ceramic heart
  • $70 porcelain skull bottle


Salvador Jiménez, Masters of Fine Arts candidate at Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD), will soon be traveling to Florence, Italy to study the history of the Renaissance. The program is through the Studio Art Center International Florence and several students from KCAD will be attending with Jiménez.

Jimenéz was awarded the José Narezo Memorial Scholarship to help with the cost of his trip but still needs to raise $2,000 to cover the additional costs of flight, room and board and tuition.

"It is especially gratifying to award Salvador the scholarship this year, with his connection to Jose, both being natives to México," said Valerie Schmieder, who started the scholarship fund with Gretchen Minnhaar, both of Via Design, to give one KCAD student per year an opportunity to study abroad.

A native of México, Jiménez came to the United States in 2000 and lived in Chicago. In 2011, Jiménez moved to Grand Rapids to attend KCAD.

"At first, art was merely a way of coping with the transition. My search for identity was frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t communicate effectively, due to my limited English, so art became my tool for self-expression," Jimenéz said.

"Similarly to Narezo, I value the involvement of art in the community and a promoter of education," Jiménez said. Jiménez has plans to be an art educator similar to Narezo who taught art education in the Grand Rapids Public Schools for 30 years. "My goal will be to teach at university level but continue my involvement with high schoolers or younger in after school programs and continue making public art."

Jiménez, who has never traveled overseas, said, "Traveling to Europe will broaden my vision and will open my eyes and mind to other cultures, people and languages by experiencing it throughout the trip. I will also have a better understanding of the history of art to later in my career being able to share my experiences and motivated other students to travel and be open to other cultures and languages."

Of this opportunity, Schmieder added, "Salvador has impressed us with his dedication to his art and his goals to pursue art education. He has already experienced success in his career in various art mediums and we are confident that he will use this experience to further his depth as an artist."

"The content of my work is socio-political and is driven by my powerful life experiences. It deals with immigration, identity, culture, injustice, language and religion. I have observed inequality, marginalization, discrimination, oppression and racism in México, as well as in the United States," said Jimenez, whose mediums include painting, photography, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation, graphic design and found objects. "As an artist I feel I have the responsibility to address the issues that affect my community and to create awareness and propose actions through my art. I’m an artist and an activist that believes in the power of art."

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