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Faces of STLCC

Florissant Valley Campus

Paint your Dreams at Florissant Valley

Study for NIMROD by Mario Trejo

Imaginative expresser, creative soul, dream painter-- Mario Trejo has been a gifted artist since he was knee-high. A long standing reputation of excellence led him to St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley.

“STLCC-Florissant Valley had better painters. John Ortbals and Eric Shultis were respected by my advanced art teacher in high school,” said Trejo. “I also knew that I could experiment in the arts and take classes in painting, photography, sculpture, drawing and a variety of other mediums."

How many second year art students request to have every board in the building at their disposal in order to display 1,000 drawings? Trejo. This skinny kid with big dark eyes having the intensity of the young Pablo Picasso or the old Louis Nevelson, went after his college education at STLCC-Florissant Valley with aggressive drive and determination.

He was on a mission.

Trejo never lost the love he discovered while being trained in grade school. He took every single art course he could possibly take to help nurture his raw talent. “I believe I took at least 90 hours! I had an advanced class in almost all the art courses.”

He said a lot of talented teachers inhabited the art program during his time at STLCC-Florissant Valley. “The late Ortbals showed me that I could make art my own and Shultis taught me to be passionate and true about my art.”

Shultis said that Trejo is the only Florissant Valley art alumnus to be represented by five galleries by the age of 33. Trejo is passionate about art – its ability to distill experience, to communicate the intangible, and to embody all of what this human experience brings us individually and collectively.

“Trejo was the dream student, and his work and willingness to be mentored by so many talented men and women artists has paid off in exhibitions, gallery representation, sales and lectures,” said Shultis.

According to Trejo, STLCC-Florissant Valley was appealing because the classes were affordable and the faculty was stellar. “Better in my opinion then most four-year schools,” he said. “Ortbals and Shultis are still some of my finest mentors even after having attended some of the best art schools in the nation.”

Although he was 6 credits away from graduating and left to start his undergraduate degree at the Art Institute of Chicago, Trejo credits STLCC-Florissant Valley for laying a strong foundation. “My time at STLCC-Florissant Valley was a time of learning, creating and setting the groundwork for my current practice. STLCC-Florissant Valley allowed me to beat the odds.”

His art exhibits span far and wide and have even reached a different continent. He currently has five galleries worldwide – three in the United States and two abroad. “I learn from every one and each one offers me a chance for new prospects and challenges,” said Trejo.

Trejo continues to gain respect from his gallery and museum shows.

“It’s funny how things that take an hour to make, sell for as much as a used car,” Trejo added. Someday he hopes to have a gallery in New York, Berlin or China. “Art is all over and art makes life better. I will no matter what be fulfilled knowing that I have made many things out of nothing that will outlive me.”

By: Rachel Gomez