Know the Aztecs: Candace Printz

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Know the Aztecs: Candace Printz

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Know the Aztecs: Candace Printz

By Ariana Arredondo

 

Art teacher Candace Printz is one of the many Aztec teachers who hope to leave a lasting impact on their students. She is the brilliant mind behind the “It’s Your World” project, which recruits students and the community to clean up the surrounding deserts, and then use the found “trash” to create works of art. The finished pieces will then be sold, with proceeds going to a number of charities. Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton visited campus in April to recognize the project and endorse it.

So, just what inspired Printz to follow her passion of art and conservation?

 

Aztec Gold Online: What originally inspired you to get into an art career?

 

Candace Printz: I had an aunt who helped raise me here in El Paso, and she’d give advice about my career path. She’d say, even if I do like art I should get a teaching degree as well. It really helped guide me into my profession now.

 

AGO: When you were a kid, what did you want to do when you grew up?

 

CP: I was really fascinated with the idea of traveling and photography, which happened to fall into the realm of art. But, I also really liked animals, so I’d watch like, Animal Planet and things like that and I wanted to rescue animals or do conservation work or go to the ocean. I just finally realized that teaching allows you to do all of that.

 

AGO: What do you hope for the future of this project and your career?

 

CP: For the project, I hope that it doesn’t end here… It’s sad and it’s troubling because in your mind it (the trash) just magically disappears but it’s like, “no, it doesn’t.” Where does it go? And what is it doing to our environment? I’m thinking of things differently. I’m not throwing as many things away now. I’m bringing them here.

 

AGO: What do you hope for the future of your teaching career?

 

CP: I just hope that we can continue to do things that go beyond just “here’s your assignment, here’s an A,” then you just throw it away as you walk out the door.

 

I want real life experiences for my students and for me, because I learn from you guys too. I learn from watching you guys; you inspire me all the time.