UCF art student Christie Gonzales was presented with a recent $1,000 scholarship for her work in watercolor painting by the Florida Watercolor Society at its 41st annual awards banquet in Orlando. Christie, a Bachelor of Fine Arts student majoring in painting and art history, is pursuing a teaching certificate in art education with plans to graduate next spring.

Christie was recognized for her pen-and-ink and watercolor images that she created this summer in a UCF Regional Campus-sponsored partnership class between the Orlando Museum of Art and UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design.

The class, advanced book arts taught by associate professor Carla Poindexter, allows studio art students to work onsite at the museum’s galleries to create art directly inspired by master works. The partnership class has been offered for the past six years.

The initial inspiration for Gonzales’ artwork came from an Anthony Thieme painting in the museum’s summer exhibition. She created a series of biographical images of Cuban life while studying the culturally rich and expressive scenes in the master painting.

Her watercolor studies culminated in the creation of a hand-bound, visually narrative book depicting a series of intimate windows into the daily joys and struggles of life in Cuba through the experiences of her Cuban heritage. She was born in New Jersey and reared in Miami.

Kathy Durdin, president of the  Florida Watercolor Society, said that every year the organization gives a scholarship to a student in the arts in the city in which they hold their convention.