Anthony Viera

COLLEGE UNBOUND: Tell me about your project.

ANTHONY VIEIRA: My project is focused on using comic books and art to promote literacy and creativity. I am from Providence so I’ve really been drawn to the Providence art scene. To help develop my project and to engage more with the Providence art scene, I have started working as AS220 as a Visual Arts Instructor. 

CU: When did you recognize your artistic talent? And who inspires you to continue to create?

Even in my early childhood, I was artistic. I preferred using my creativity. I started playing music in high school and I was a Jazz Studies major at my first college. But, I’ve always been into visual arts. 

My inspiration comes from all the comic artists in the industry right now. My biggest motivation has been podcasts and listening to the people in the industry right now. I love Norman Rockwell because he would depict a whole story in one painting. I try to reflect on traditional imagery as much as possible. I’m also very inspired by comic book artists of the late 30’s and early 40’s. 

CU: What is the next step in your project?

My next step is trying to get more of my work published in order to gain credibility and boost my audience. 

CU: How did you come to College Unbound (CU) and what effects have you seen in your life as a result of being at CU?

After graduating high school, I enrolled in CCRI and attended courses there part-time for 7 years. I was working full-time and taking 2 classes a semester. I was just on the verge of getting my associate’s degree, but a situation arose where I could no longer pay for school. I decided to drop out and focus on working on my art. 

I wasn’t sure if I was going to come back to school. I was already in my artistic mode and working on my comic books. Around the same time, my grandfather was sick with cancer. Some of the members on College Unbound’s board were friends with my grandfather and so I was aware of the CU Solo Scholarship. My grandfather’s dying wish was for me to get a bachelor’s degree. 

So, I attended one of CU’s Open Houses and the curriculum and the cohort model made a lot of sense to me. I applied for the scholarship and I got accepted. Since then, I have seen such growth in myself. I wouldn’t have a job at AS220 without being at CU and without the help and guidance of my CU cohort-mates. Before CU, I never thought I could use my moral compass in my work, but I’ve developed a new perspective of how to use my skills. 

CU: In the spirit of giving back and using your voice to help others, who would you like to spotlight for helping you and your project thus far?

I would like to highlight Micah Salkind, one of CU’s faculty. He was really hands-on and made himself available to meet with me weekly. He’s also really into the Providence arts scene, and have been a great mentor to me.