Socorro native Ilda Vergara wins SocorroFest T-shirt design contest

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Born and raised in Socorro. Ilda Vergara — the 2013 SocorroFest T-shirt design winner — has gravitated towards art all her life.

Ilda Vergara’s 2013 SocorroFest T-shirt design.

“I’ve taken art classes every chance I’ve had in school,” Vergara said. “I’m the only one in the family to start doing art. All of my cousins and step-siblings are into sports.”

Vergara said her family encouraged her to keep going in art, even when she wasn’t feeling optimistic herself.

“They encouraged me,” she said. “They’re really my big inspiration.”

Vergara credits Socorro High School art teacher Laurie Heintz for broadening her artistic horizons.

“Miss Heintz opened me up to a lot of different media, like chalk and acrylic,” Vergara said. “I started doing painting and sculpture.”

Her winning design started when Vergara became fascinated with designs on her mother’s shirt.

“My mom was wearing a shirt with a cool-looking symbol on it,” she said. “I started drawing it and tweaking it. I took away most of the details.”

Then her art teacher told the class about the SocorroFest design contest.

“That’s when I added the guitar and M Mountain,” she said.

Vergara is pretty excited about her award-winning design.

“The design looks pretty cool on the shirt,” she said. “It’s very neat seeing something I drew on a shirt people will be wearing.”

Vergara has always been a big fan of SocorroFest, being a guitarist as well as an artist.

“I’ll be at SocorroFest on Friday,” she said. “I’ve gone to at least one out of the two days every year. I love hearing people playing guitar.”

Vergara, a 2013 Socorro High School graduate, is enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at Central New Mexico community college. She plans to use the $50 check she won from the contest to help with school expenses, but the morale boost the award gave her has prompted her to return to her art.

“It motivated me to start drawing again,” she said.

Vergara hopes to use her earnings as a pharmacy technician to return to college for a bachelor’s degree. Her ultimate goal is to be an art teacher.

Vergara’s mother Lucero is a stay-at-home mom; her step-father Jose Alvarado works for Dicaperl.