Posted Date: 01/31/2019
Behind the Art Work
Luis Mendez, a Mathematics professor at La Joya ISD Early College HS and South Texas College, is one of a few helpers to Mr. Joel Garcia, a local blind artist from South Texas.
Mendez has been assisting Mr. Garcia for over 6 years and is always eager to help start Garcia on new projects. Aside from being a close relative of the local artist, he genuinely enjoys assisting in the creative process by shopping for materials or hanging up canvases, ensuring that Garcia has all that he requires to produce his art pieces.
For many years now, Joel Garcia’s artwork has been donated and displayed at several children’s cancer hospitals throughout the area, St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and at the Mujeres Unidas foundation headquarters. Additionally, Garcia’s paintings are continuously being auctioned online with proceeds benefiting children’s cancer research or women’s activist groups.
“We have a very close relationship,” said Mendez. “He feels very comfortable in asking for help when he needs it, and I am very patient with him which allows him to create his projects in peace. We usually share the same beliefs on topics we discuss and we both are very enthusiastic about the art we create.”
Aside from the artistic help, Mendez has also tutored Mr. Garcia in Math and other core subjects. “I am honored to have him in my life,” added Garcia. “… through my disability of not being able to see, Luis has been key to making my dreams of working FOR my community come true. He is a remarkable gift in my life and I would like to thank La Joya ISD for helping to recognize his dedication and kindness.”
“Though Art and Mathematics may seem like an unlikely match, there is a lot of math involved in art,” says Mendez, who is also a fan of architecture and design. “If I weren’t a math teacher, I would probably be an architectural engineer or a home builder since I enjoy making connections in geometry to create beautiful architecture and home designs. Art itself is amazing! In helping out Joel with his paintings, I am not only lending out a helping hand to him and those he serves, but it also serves as a source of enjoyment for myself,” Mendez stated.
Vision loss and blindness are among the most common disabilities in the world and La Joya ISD is proud to highlight one of our teachers for his volunteerism and his initiative to help others. Nonetheless, Mr. Luis Mendez feels humbled and honoredto be of any assistance to Mr. Garcia, as he does it out of love and is passionate about the art that benefits those in need.