CCAD changed Paula Marcela Andrade’s life. Now she’s paying it forward.

Originally from Curico, Chile, Paula Marcela Andrade (Advertising & Graphic Design, 1994) was an exchange student at Delaware Hayes High School, just outside of Columbus, when she competed for—and won—a scholarship to attend Saturday Morning Art Classes at Columbus College of Art & Design.

It would change her path forever.

Andrade had originally planned to spend a year in the U.S. before returning to Chile to finish her senior year of high school. Instead, she remained in Ohio and applied for a scholarship to attend college at CCAD.

“It was this scholarship that changed my destiny,” Andrade recalled. “I was able to win a three-year scholarship to study art.” And Jeff Fisher, Senior Vice President for Finance & Planning helped her to earn a grant for her good academic standing.

With Fisher due to retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year and Andrade set to sell her work in the 2019 CCAD Spring Art Fair for the first time, it seemed like there couldn’t be better a better moment for Andrade to make a big offer: half of the proceeds from sales of her work at the Art Fair will go to a new endowed student scholarship fund in Fisher’s name that will serve students with emergency financial needs.

Andrade, who teaches sensory art and Spanish to preschoolers at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, creates art that she describes as “rhythmic, dynamic, chromatic, and elegant.” These nature-inspired abstract works are primarily acrylics on paper or wood. In addition to the Spring Art Fair, her work is available for purchase in her Etsy shop, House Wren Art.

Why did you want to donate your sales proceeds to CCAD student scholarships?

It was here in the States that I realized I could draw. CCAD nurtured and supported my artistic talent. These scholarships were so important in my life at the time, because they helped me recognize that I was talented and showed me a path that otherwise I would have never chosen for myself on my own. This is why these scholarship funds are so important to young people. It was a blessing for me to be able to get one, and I want to help others to be able to have the same opportunity.\

What do you love about making art?

The joy I feel by being able to create something that comes from within is what keeps me motivated to continue painting. Being recognized and having people enjoying what I do it is just a wonderful feeling.

What do you love about teaching?

What I love about teaching preschoolers is how fun it is. You cannot do this job without having a sense of humor or without doing art. 

Some of my lessons have involved creating sensory color bags, doing art with color rice and corn, painting with hands and feet, or painting with unusual objects like tree branches or vegetables.

It’s through our senses that we enjoy this world, and in my experience, immersing children in sensorial experiences while creating art is one of the best ways to help them overcome difficulties. For instance, my own son was afraid of touching the grass with his feet, and it was through getting his little hands dirty with paint and glue that he started to lose his fear of experiencing different textures. I have seen children overcome being timid by creating art. Gluing things down, painting with different tools, being messy, and feeling the paint in their hands—it boosts their confidence. You can see it on their little faces that say to me, look at what I can do! I can't even imagine teaching children any subject without art.


CCAD Spring Art Fair

Saturday, April 6, 2019

First Look: 9–11 a.m. Tickets cost $25 online or $30 at the door.

General Admission: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Tickets cost $7 online or $10 at the door.

Buy Spring Art Fair tickets now.


Help support CCAD students in need by giving to the Big Three Scholarship Initiative. Your gift will support an emergency fund in honor of Senior Vice President for Finance & Planning Jeff Fisher, an undergraduate scholarship in honor of Illustration and Comics & Narrative Practice Professor Stew McKissick, and a graduate scholarship in honor of Director of Graduate Studies Ric Petry.