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Cal State LA EOP celebrates 50 years with student art exhibit

October 7, 2019

By Hilda Muñoz | Cal State LA News Service

The Cal State LA Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an exhibition featuring artwork by EOP students.

The exhibit “First in the Family” kicked off on Oct. 10 with a reception in the first floor lobby of University Library North. The show highlights photography, paintings and other student work and will be on display through Dec. 20.

Photo of artwork by Isaac Aldape, featuring a back of a person on a bridge looking at a sunset.EOP has opened the door to higher education for generations of students from underserved communities across California. Most of them are the first in their family to go to college and have overcome social and economic barriers. The program provides rigorous academic support, one-on-one counseling, workshops and other resources to promote retention and a path to graduation.

“In celebrating the legacy of 50 years, it was important for us to provide nontraditional ways for students to share of themselves,” said Lui Amador, director for EOP at Cal State LA. “This is a different way of understanding and appreciating who EOP students are, their journeys, all of the ways they have been touched by EOP and also how we have been touched by their participation in the program.”

Kissbell Preza, an art major on track to graduate in the spring, is one of the more than a dozen students who submitted artwork for the exhibit.

“I’m a very determined person and I’m very happy that they gave me a chance,” Preza said.

One of her submissions includes a black and white photo of an altar dedicated to Eleguá, the deity of roads and paths in Santería and sister religions. When Preza was accepted into EOP four and a half years ago, she thought of Eleguá.

Learn more about EOP’s history on the program website.

Photos of artwork: Top, "Untitled" by political science major Guadalupe Velez. Bottom, "Sunset in Venice" by mechanical engineering major Isaac Aldape. (Credit: Tyrone D. Washington/Cal State LA).

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit