Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Alls Well with EL

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and SDCC Graphic Design sent an email to community colleges that had been devastated and flooded by this disaster. We hoped to bring a displaced student from the region to San Diego where they could continue their studies. Reaching out to the campus and community we were able to secure free housing and generous support to pay for food, books and enrollment fees for a worthy student. His name was Elton Fletcher and last week he re-connected with us to share his story.

Highest highs and lowest lows

I remember the day I first spoke with Professor Lopez. It was five days after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and I was totally in a daze. I received an email from Professor Pecquet at Nunez Community College where I had been attending school. It said "EL you need to contact Candice Lopez ASAP." And that was the call to my adventure. But before I could go I had to make sure my family was safe. The three months that followed was filled with family fun, birthday parties, daily trips to Wal mart and a lot of prayers. And by Thanksgiving my family returned to Louisiana.

After New Years I drove out west. It was an eye opening experience. A two day drive with a layover in El Paso. Then I arrived in San Diego where that night I met a cool dude named Brody Alpert. He gave me a run down on the lay of the land in SD. The next day I met Sondra Lognado. She took over my car to give me a city tour and we visited San Diego City College. The following day David joined us and we all had breakfast at the Hash House and a tour of some of the art hotspots in SD. This was only the third day in San Diego and already I had made three amazing friends.

Two weeks later I met Professor Lopez at Cafe 222. I must admit I was very nervous. I didn't eat a thing. I'm a little shy. She has a great aura and it's very bright. We talked about Katrina, my family, her family, and about this new start as an artist. This was something I had always wanted to pursue but never have the opportunity. She told me, "the time is now so dig in." From this meeting my life as an artist was re-born and it was the magic key for me. This was my calling. That following year I jumped into to the pool of art and design students at City College and never looked back. San Diego City College was that spark I had been questing for. That year I was not only educated but found my calling in life. I made so many new friends that I'm still in contact with till today.

Today my family is all back in New Orleans-back in the 7th Ward Columbia Parc. I'm currently in Dallas where I work as a print and web graphic designer at Collin College in the Art Department. I'm pursuing an MFA at the University of Texas Dallas in Sculpture and Emerging Media and Communications. When I'm done in three years here's hoping I will be making my return to teach art at City College.

Thank you San Diego City College for having me and treating me as one of your own.

Thank you for the adventure.

EL Fletch

1 comment:

  1. We are very happy to have El here at Collin College. Thanks for sending us a well-trained, knowledgeable and all-around "cool dude"! We hope his adventure continues and leads to great things.