School of Art, Media, and Technology

Grads from Parsons’ DR affiliate take top honors in the country’s most prestigious art competition!

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Graduates of the Altos de Chavón School of Design have won the three top prizes in the 24th biennial Eduardo León Jimenes art competition, one of the most prestigious art competitions in the country. Located in La Romana, Dominican Republic, Altos de Chavon has been an affiliate of Parsons since 1983.

The winners of the prizes, worth almost $13,000 each, are Carlos de León (currently a BFA Communications Design Student at Parsons), Raquel Paiewonsky, and Hulda Guzmán. According to the jurors, their works demonstrate a high level of expression and deep social commitment, in some cases reflecting an intense personal, emotional experience that comments on the reality of life in the Dominican Republic.

Carlos de Leon’s winning work, Te amo (I Love You), deals with tender thoughts of, and nostalgia for, the overpowering, nurturing love of his grandmother, who raised him. His photographic images are humorous but also tug at the heartstrings: in this work his grandmother’s love is symbolized by the talcum power that she lavished on him as a schoolboy. A 2011 Graphic Design graduate of the two-year program at Altos de Chavón, Carlos won Parsons’ Ruth Vanterpool Scholarship, a full scholarship that has enabled him to study here. An extraordinarily bright and talented young man, he is now a senior and currently has his work on display at the Student Affairs Gallery located within the Student Affairs Office, 66 Fifth Avenue (last office down the hall). Read more about the winners here, and more about our affiliate, the Altos de Chavón School of Design, below.

The Altos/Parsons connection

The Altos de Chavón village, a dynamic arts and cultural center in the heart of the Caribbean, was created in 1976. It is located 70 miles east of the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, and sits on a plateau overlooking the river Chavón. The village, immersed in the scent of flowering ginger and colorful bougainvillea, houses craft workshops, an artists’ gallery, an archaeological museum, artist studios, stores and restaurants, and a school of art and design.

The School at Altos is made possible by the Charles and Yvette Bluhdorn Charitable Trust, which was established to advance the artistic and cultural life in the Dominican Republic. The Foundation is stewarded by Dominique Bluhdorn, a member of Parsons Board of Governors, a guiding force and staunch supporter of Parsons and its commitment to international design education.

Since its beginning in 1983,  the Altos de Chavón School of Design has been dedicated to offering young talents a solid training in the art and design field, with graduating alumni (referred to as “Chavoneros”) entering the national and international job markets. Altos has developed university-level professionals specializing in the industrial application of art and design for more than a quarter of a century. Founded in 1983 to meet the growing commercial demands of the Dominican Republic, The School of Design offers an intensive two-year program leading to the degree of Associate in Applied Science. Three majors are offered: Graphic DesignFashion Design, and Fine Arts/Illustration. In addition, The School has developed a state-of-the-art Certificate Program in Digital Design.

Graduating with an associates degree, Altos alumni can then transfer into their junior year at Parsons, obtaining a BFA degree in just two more years.

Parsons students also have the opportunity to study here. Courses and projects have included  community activism through the Integrated Design: Culture, Place and Design course offered by the Integrated Design Curriculum, and a collaboration between Parsons Illustration students and Altos de Chavon students on a street mural in La Romana.

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