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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Science Coordinator Displays Artistic Side

An attendee admiring Garza's artwork.
As art enthusiasts toured the Mansfield High School library viewing an amazing 35-piece exhibit of paintings, one of the patrons turned to her friend and said, "And to think, this was all painted by some science guy!"

That was the sentiment of several people who attended Tuesday's debut of "Shadows and Reflections" by Dr. Fred Garza, which featured paintings of literary novels brought to life or kitchen tools through the eyes of a cooking aficionado.

Dr. Garza is Mansfield ISD's science curriculum coordinator who has been with the district for more than 20 years.

Science and art aren't typically used in the same sentence. However, for Dr. Garza, those two words sum up his greatest passions.

"It's all about creating to me. In chemistry, you're creating a new product. In art, you're creating a new piece," said Garza.

Garza always had a knack for the arts because both of his parents were artists. He said he would always critique his mother's artwork, which led her to tell him to take art classes and make his own creations. And that's exactly what he did.

Dr. Fred Garza and Suzanne Moncuse enjoying the exhibit.
Although this is the second year the former science teacher displayed his artwork at Mansfield High School for the public to see, he said he wasn't always comfortable showing off his creative side to outsiders. It took some nudging from his friends.

"Once Suzanne Moncuse [Mansfield High School's librarian] found out that I was an artist, she pushed to have me showcase my work in the library," said Garza. "Now, I wouldn't have it any other way. She shows a true appreciation and care for the artwork."

Moncuse said the honor is all hers to be able to host such a local artist in the library.

"With the level of talent he has, he could easily be showing his pieces in art galleries. I'm glad to support him, and even happier that our district also supports the arts." said Moncuse.

Garza hopes his story will encourage others to not be afraid to tap into their own passions.

"Everyone has potential," he said. "They just need to dive in."

Garza's work will be on display at the Mansfield High School library until March 1.