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Nature Coast Art League 2022 Scholarship Recipient

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Like many kids, Sergio Valle of Spring Hill had an early enthusiasm for superheroes and video games. Now, this graduating senior at Springstead High School is poised to join the ranks of those who create the vivid fantasy art that fills and defines those creative projects.

Valle recently won a $1,000 student scholarship from the Nature Coast Art League. And he earned a second-place honor at the Hernando County Fine Arts Council’s “Art in the Park 2022 Student Art Show.” Following his graduation from Springstead High, he will be attending Full Sail University in Winter Park to prepare for a career in video game art.

“I’ve been making art since elementary school. I started in the first grade,” stated Sergio. Sergio drew inspiration from topics and muses beloved among young people. “I liked looking at drawings of superheroes,” he said. “Then I started doing my own drawings of these characters.”

Valle’s media of choice include pen, inks, alcohol markers, digital art, and painting. He participated in an art club at Springstead, as well as a manga appreciation club. And he excelled as an AP art student under the guidance of teacher Nicholas Stenstrom, the same instructor who recommended the young artist for the NCAL scholarship.

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“Sergio provided us with his grade point average, a high recommendation from his art teacher, Mr. Stenstrom at Springstead High School, samples of his artwork, and an essay about his passion for the arts,” said Linda Graves, president of Nature Coast Art League. “The scholarship committee was very impressed by the manner in which he presented himself.”

This comes on the heels of Valle’s red ribbon win at the “Art in the Park 2022 Student Art Show” for an exhibition centered on a portrait of a favorite rapper. “It’s a portrait of the rapper Dax, inspired by his song Gotham,” Valle explained. “He sings about the problems of social media, and the title reference (the setting of the Batman story) also ties in with the superhero theme.”

Valle is thrilled about both honors. His love of art has only continued to grow with the passing years. He shared, “I spend at least 10 hours a week drawing. I try all sorts of stuff, portraits of actors and superheroes, fantasy stuff.”

He finds the creative process to be both enjoyable and challenging. “It’s relaxing, but frustrating at the same time,” he said. “It’s always trial and error and I’m always trying to improve, to make my art better.” And as he plans to embark on the pursuit of an art degree at Full Sail, Sergio Valle plans to turn his life’s passion into a career. “I can draw all day, I just lose myself,” he said.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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