Artist and student Nicomedes Gomez stands by his painting that student activities is purchasing./ Kyle Millett
If you have spent any considerable amount of time in Whitehorse Hall art rooms, you've probably noticed him. Nicomedes Gomez spends most of his time in the painting studio. He is very relaxed in his surroundings and smiling as he focuses in on some details in his latest masterpiece in progress, a portrait of a boy.
If you haven't noticed him, you will notice his art soon. A painting by Gomez was just selected by Student Activities to purchase. The large painting is of a tropical landscape rich in color, with vivid imaginary and bold lines. It features a sunset, the ocean, palm trees, sea and wild life, including a Keel Billed Toucan, the National Bird of Belize.
The painting does not have a name, but Gomez said that if he was to name it, it would be "A piece of peaceful paradise".
"My paintings are about where I live and where I come from," Gomez explained. "I come from a tropical, very peaceful place. It's very relaxing there. In my paintings I use a lot of bright colors from the tropics."
Gomez was born and raised in Belize, where he worked as a professional artist. He relocated to Everett in 2009 because it was where his wife was from and worked as an elementary teacher. The couple has since started a family, and settled in the area.
"There are not many Belizeans' living here," Gomez said, with a chuckle. "But I like it here, it is much different. It's dark and it rains, it's not tropical, it's not bright, but it's nice."
"Back home I did signs for businesses -- bars, hotels, restaurants -- and murals for tourist buses. Tourism is very big there, they would want nice murals on the sides of the buses. The bus would have to sit at my house for several days while I worked on the murals, "explained Gomez, who has been painting for 15 years.
"What really motivated me to come to school is because I had been living here for a couple of years, and thought about working in graphic arts. I thought it would be easy to get work, because I made signs back in Belize, but after having my portfolio looked at by professionals, I realized I needed school," Gomez explained.
"I've been going here for two and a half years now. I actually started off in the graphics program, and did two quarters there before I realized that it wasn't for me. I decided that I should stick with what I know best, which is fine arts ... paintings."
Gomez is working toward finishing up his Associate in Fine Arts at EvCC this summer, and afterwards would like to go on to get a degree in illustration. He would like to illustrate animals for books.
"Nico is an example of what happens when immigrants have had a successful career back home, leave that life and career to move to the states and realize they need a degree here in get any work. He is very talented, and has wonderful skills, that painting came from his mind," said art instructor, Sandra Lepper.
Lepper, an advocate in getting more art on campus, was instrumental in convincing Student Activities to purchase the painting, which is still being stored in the painting studio for now.
"Sandy suggested that the school should buy some student artwork, and Student Activities came by the studio and checked out my art. They thought it was beautiful," Gomez said.
According to both Lepper and Gomez the plan is to put the artwork in the Paperclip, which both agreed could use an artistic focal point. Gomez mentioned that he is in the final discussions with Student Activities regarding getting the painting framed, and installed.
"I'm really excited that the school is buying this piece," Lepper added.