Virginia Karina Vasquez Antonio
My name is Virginia Vasquez Antonio. Antonio is my second last name, from my mother's side, and it means a lot to me. I am a Latina with Mexican origins, and it was a challenge to come to the United States and learn both the culture and the language here. I have never felt 100 percent sure of myself when I write or speak in public, which is why art has become my close friend in many ways. It is a great mode of self-expression that doesn’t require one to speak out loud or write extensively.
What inspired me to participate in the program was the chance to continue learning about photography. It was a unique experience because it changed the way I understand the medium. I see it as a mixture of mystery, reality, emotions, and beauty. I also add to the mix my own spark of magic, which is imagination and expression. During the program, I met wonderful people with great talent and was able to learn more about their approaches to photography. I feel grateful that I experienced many things in the program and that photography gained a powerful and secret meaning for me. You don’t know what will happen in the future, but I am sure that I will continue to explore the wonders of photography. Now photography has joined my list of close friends.
—Virginia Karina Vasquez Antonio, Gateway Community College, 2026