Donald Guevara (MFA studio art 2022) has been selected as a studio fellow at NXTHVN, a ten-month fellowship program based in New Haven, Connecticut. Each year, only seven artists and two curators are selected from a highly competitive pool to participate in the program, which is designed to accelerate the careers of the next generation and fosters retention of professional art talent.
“We’re thrilled to have Donald Guevara representing FSU’s MFA studio art program in New Haven, and we’re incredibly proud of what they’ve accomplished,” said Lilian Garcia-Roig, Chair of Florida State University’s Department of Art. “Our MFA program is designed to give our students an immersive experience and set them up for success in the field, and Donald is a great example.”
About the Artwork
Guevara’s work is primarily collage-based, combining drawings, found objects and video to create colorful and thought-provoking vignettes. Images are selected, cut apart, and reformulated to create a new image that holds a code and context away from, yet still inherently attached, to the original images. Many of the pieces include elements from trading cards, both those featuring fictional creatures such as Pokémon and Digimon, and those featuring real-life human athletes.
“This body of work really stems from childhood and explores what we value.” said Guevara. “Some of these images of Pokémon or Digimon can be worth enormous amounts of money. These creatures can never tear their ACL, but athletes can. Their cards can diminish rapidly from one year to the next just because of an injury.”
While at FSU, Guevara worked as a drawing instructor of undergraduate students, and was selected for the Excellence in the Visual Arts Award and the Jim Boone Endowed Scholarship. While their time together in-person was limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, Guevara attributes his success to the relationships he built with his MFA cohort.
“My time at FSU really prepared me for this moment,” said Guevara. “The MFA program brings together people who have vastly different stories and experiences and encourages us to communicate, work off each other and grow. Whether we agreed with each other or not, we all cared about each other and worked to help each other. Having a taste of this collaboration is what drove me to apply to NXTHVN.”
The artist also credits the department’s faculty, including Garcia-Roig, with preparing him for a successful career in the arts.
“My professors were honest about how to make a living in the arts,” said Guevara. “The process can be kind of secretive and selective, but they really try to illuminate it, showing us how to apply for grants and fellowships, get exposure, and effectively share our work — not showing us from a distance, but sharing their own personal experiences with us.”
During their time with NXTHVN, Guevara is excited to extend their network and build new relationships with fellow artists in the program.
NXTHVN is a new national arts model that empowers artists and curators through education and access to a vibrant ecosystem. Supported by intergenerational mentorship, cross-sector collaboration, and local engagement. Learn more at nxthvn.com.
More about FSU’s MFA Studio Art program at art.fsu.edu.