You know you’re an athletic trainer, who’s been here a while, when. . . . former students keep returning to the high school you work at/they attended to work as your colleague! As so it goes for Christian Hurtado Guardado. . . or as his professional name now, Allester Vinteers. With the retirement of Mr. Gerardy this past May there was an opening in the amazing art depart that has become here at Trimble Tech. Allester Vinteers was a perfect fit to return and teach at the high school that helped him become the young man that he is. With that I give you, Allester Vinteers, the September Alumni Watch.
Years at Trimble Tech:
I graduated from Trimble Tech in the class of 2011. I attended all four years.
What groups were you involved in?
I was a part of Art Club, Anime Club, and the Gamer Club.
Did you play sports?
I took theatre. Theatre is great because it is both an artform and a sport.
Who were/was your favorite teachers?
My two favorite teachers were my Art teacher, Valerie Lopez and my Theatre Arts teacher, Cheryl Penland. I grew a lot from being in their class. Mrs. Penland has always been super witty and full of charm. People can learn a lot from her. My other favorite person was the librarian Gloria Bermejo. She deserves major props because she helped facilitate so many incredible school activities that were beyond the mainstream.
My favorite memories at Trimble Tech were just getting to be weird with friends. There are many athlete students, there are many high achieving students, and there are certainly many average students, but we were the disenfranchised idealists, the dreamers and the eclectic misfits who loved anime, art, subcultures and being otherworldly. It was always an adventure.
If you could give any advice to Tech Students now what would it be?
I would give them the same advice my friend and mentor, Jo Dufo has given me. The world will try to shame you into thinking the way it does. Don’t see yourself through the eyes of the world, nor through what has been done you. I will also add, always ask yourself who you are and follow your heart’s desire.
When you graduated, did you know you wanted to get into art as a career?
When I was 9 years old I asked myself what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told myself that the only life worthy of living would be one that was challenging, memorable, and elusive to obtain. My 9-year-old self concluded that would be the life of an artist. Shortly after I graduated from Trimble Tech High School, I went to a fortune teller. He told me I was promised great success in life, but only if I focused on one thing. I didn’t know if I wanted to be an Actor or Visual Artist, so I started out by surveying both early in college. I quickly learned that actors are the football players of the art world and I was more enamored by the crazy intellectual and spiritual knowledge my Visual Art professors and mentors held. Pretty soon, I became more and more Fort Worth famous and the appeal of my work continues to gain traction.
Where did you attend college?
Did you intern anywhere? I began by taking classes at Tarrant County College. Then, I attended and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Minor in Art History from the University of North Texas. I have never interned, but I have worked at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Bass Performance Hall, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, BeArtSee Studio & Art Gallery among several other places of prestige and great purpose.
Do you think Tech prepared you for college life?
I am the first person in my entire family and extended family to have received a higher education. My parents are both immigrants and only went as far as receiving a middle school level education. My tenacity aside, the real reason I was able to go to college was because my art teacher, Valerie Lopez said, “You are too talented not to go to college,” drove me all the way to TCC North West campus after I graduated, got me the registration form and sat by my side to help me fill it out. And because math teacher, Stephanie Williams also went out of her way to help me figure out financial aid and give me a passionate talk about why I should not ever think about dropping out/take a break from school and to persevere until I have gotten that degree. It was individual teachers at Trimble Tech, the kind who care, who “prepared”me for college life.
What is the biggest adjustment from high school to college classes/life?
In high school, you constantly have people telling you what to do. That goes away pretty quickly. I would say, being your own biggest advocate. Also expenses; I’m not very good at math, but I am surprisingly very shrewd with money. Even then, there were numerous times where I found myself having to beg for money.
Had to do it over again, what do you wish you would have known?
I wish someone would have told me how amazing, life changing, and incredible the journey would all be!
Things you did in Tech that helped you at college?
I was always curious and I surveyed a lot of things. I’m really grateful that Trimble Tech allowed me to explore with the many programs it offers. This really helped me find my footing.
Did you ever imagine you would end up back here at Tech teaching?
I never did. 3rd week of school and I’m still thinking to myself, “Is this really happening…?” Hahaha! One thing led to another and I ended up here, almost as if by magic. It is as if I’ve been called to be here. It’s been great though and I’m honestly excited!
At this point, what has been your best moment whether art related or in life?
The best moments of my life are all the amazing things I get to do and all the people I get to meet. The art world and all the things that inhabit it are the most curious of things. Approximately 3 million years ago, a distant ancestor of ours discovered a jasperite pebble near a distant body of water, which resembled his face. He took it, and brought it all the way back his cave. He kept it with him until death. This pebble is considered the 1st Artwork. Art is something primordial, intrinsic, and at the very fiber of who we are as human beings. Outside of the art world, there are many people starving with a deep imbalance in this area. When they are around me for a while, I can see their mood begin to change. I begin to see their spirit light up. I get to make a solid difference in the world just by walking around being myself, and it humbles me deeply. Those are my best moments.
What do you do now on a daily basis?
If you go home feeling exhausted yet somewhat satisfied at the end of each day, that means you cared. I am one of the ones who care. Being in a position that pays me to bathe in the spirit of art every single day of the week and make a difference in the lives of others doing so, I tell you, that alone gives me more energy than you could ever possibly imagine for the vigor and rigor it takes to be out there in the art world doing amazing artist things. When I am not teaching, I am general creating art, attending gallery shows, art museum exhibitions, and hanging out with other deep creatives.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I believe it is my destiny and it is in my heart’s desire.
Where do you see yourself ten years down the road?
I’ll put this in Pokémon terms. Most Pokémon have 3 evolutions and each evolution makes the Pokémon a more powerful and decked out version of itself. In 10 years, hopefully, I’ll be at my 3rd evolution. Some Pokémon take longer to evolve, but they also end up being more powerful and way cooler. Who knows what my 3rd evolution will look like, but it’s certainly going to be an amazing one.
What is the ultimate goal/dream for art/life?
Honestly, I feel like I’m already at my ultimate goal. I guess what I mean by that is, let’s say I found out that tomorrow was my last day on this physical plane of existence; I would pay my respects to everyone first, then exit gracefully and content. However, I also understand that this is a material existence and that it would probably be wise to tie myself down to a material goal while I’m on here, so I went ahead and chose one. That goal is to own and live in a castle. Imagine being able to achieve that???
Anything else you would like to add?
Yes actually! I would like to take the time to thank you for spotlighting me on here. I didn’t know this was a thing and I am so very honored. I would also like to thank those of you who have taken the time to read this far down! It truly means a lot. Thank you.