Fine Art Fridays: Emanuel Cuadrado

For this edition of Fine Art Fridays, Her Campus at UPR has the pleasure of presenting this interview:

Emanuel Cuadrado, a freshman student at the University of Puerto Rico, is known for being the first Deaf student to be accepted to the School of Architecture at the Río Piedras Campus. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him for the past year, after meeting him at an Art History workshop. At the time, he had just applied to the School of Architecture, and I had the happy surprise of seeing him as a fully enrolled student a few months later. Since then, Emanuel made a big impression on us with his artwork, showing how diverse his talents and abilities are.

He is an inspiration to everyone that surrounds him. He shows that having a disability is not a limitation. With that, I had to take the opportunity to interview him and give light to the message he wants to spread.

HCUPR: How did you begin making art?

Emanuel Cuadrado: I began since I was a child in the Liga de Arte de San Juan (San Juan Art League).

 

HCUPR: Do you believe that your Deafness has influenced your art?

EC: Yes, because being Deaf makes my visual sense acuter.

 

HCUPR: What is your favorite style of art?

EC: I prefer woodcuts (grabado), even though I’ve learned to work with most styles.

 

HCUPR: Why did you decide to apply for the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico?

EC: I’ve been passionate about architecture from an early age. I’ve always known it’s what I wanted to do.

 

HCUPR: Were you nervous to apply?

EC: Yes! Very! And I was even more nervous when I was accepted. From that moment I questioned if I could meet the expectations.

 

HCUPR: What benefit do you think your Deafness gives you, above other students in your architecture classes?

EC: I believe it benefits my visual perception. It’s my strongest asset when the moment comes to conceptualize my ideas.

 

HCUPR: What is your goal for the future?

EC: I hope to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and also get a Master’s degree in Architecture. I have an idea of studying abroad to get a Ph.D.

 

HCUPR: What advice would you give to other students that are planning on studying Architecture?

EC: They should dare themselves too! I, being Deaf, did not put limitations on myself. If it’s what they’re passionate about, they should do it.

 

HCUPR: What advice would you give to the Deaf youth that is planning to pursue a higher education?

EC: Many people believe that Deaf people can’t continue their studies because universities discriminate them. I tell you that it’s a lie; they shouldn’t accustom themselves to what others want to impose on them. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams because you are Deaf.

 

HCUPR: Which of your works of art do you like the most? Why?

EC: It’s an art piece titled Silencio (“Silence”). That work represents the silence inside me and how my art flows through my silence.

 

In this image, we some  of Emanuel's artwork, including "Silencio".

 

We would like to thank Emanuel for taking some time to answer these questions and for participating in this interview. We are sure that he has a bright future ahead of him, and we know that he will continue being an inspiration to others. Art has no boundaries and no limitations; his artwork reflects just that! We hope this article motivates students with different disabilities, functionalities, and health conditions to not feel like they can’t pursue a higher education because there are many opportunities to keep going. We also hope that different universities continue to open their doors, to adapt their programs to everyone, and to accept all people.

You can find Emanuel Cuadrado on Instagram as @lil.chvmpagne, or click here.