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Different people might have different opinions about their time studying at Chavón School of Design. To some, it was the best years of their lives, to others the most challenging. What we are sure all will say is that they learned some very valuable lessons, not only related to art but to life. After graduation, everybody who studied here says their life is before and after Chavón. A few weeks back, a group of some of the first Chavoneros returned to the school for a celebration of their 30th anniversary.

Looking at pictures of Chavoneros back in the 1980’s is a lot like looking at pictures of students nowadays. There is a certain consistent aura that is characteristic of them and makes it easy to recognize a Chavonero. It’s apparent that even though students do not have it easy here, they love and are very passionate about what they do, and it is certainly admirable. Students here are taught by excellent teachers who are experienced professionals in their industries where they are able to gain viable industry insight.

The group who celebrated their anniversary is one we are sure you know: Malele Strofer, Luis Muñoz, Fernando Tamburini, Glenis Anglada, Luisa Nuñez, Mayra Hernandez, Cristobal Rodriguez, Carlos Montesino, Scarlett Félix, and Kathya Flores. These alumni have all made a name for themselves in the various areas of their work. To name a few, Malele Strofer is well-known for being one of the 3 pillars of the company “Tres Events” for organizing and decorating amazing events; Fernando Tamburini is loved for his abstract and colorful representations of Dominican culture and lifestyle, often featuring scenes with bright vivid colors and surreal symbols; Carlos Montesino has exhibited work in individual and collective exhibitions and been recognized locally and internationally with many distinctions. He is a current professor in Fine Arts at the Chavón School of Design and at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.

Everyone was well received by the school’s representatives and were taken on a tour of the school’s facility, which in an essence hasn’t changed that much in infrastructure. It has been updated throughout the years providing each new generation with new tools and resources to help them explore and develop their talents.

Alumni visited the new studio that was opened for the Film program which started earlier this year, and then concluded their visit with a cocktail at La Galeria where they were able to see some of the most recent artwork on display of 2nd year Fine Art students. Some were so impressed that they bought some of the pieces!

It was clear that they loved being back at their alma mater and their happiness shone through the night. They shared recent stories, remembered old ones, and laughed together as though time had not passed since the last time they were together. Stephen Kaplan, the school rector, described what a Chavonero is at the last graduation ceremony by stating, “Chavoneros are a cadre of talented designers and artists with common roots… However strong the competition may be, a Chavonero is prepared for it.” And we could not agree more.