Erik Damien Escovedo: Crossing Disciplines to Cultivate Lifelong Learning

Lund Scholar Erik Damien Escovedo (2019-20)

Being a Native American in London was an out-of-world experience.

My 2019-2020 study abroad there was definitely valuable, because I learned that there are kind people all over the globe who are open to diversity.

The culture shock was something that helped me, in terms of how I talk about the world during lectures in courses combining art and ethnic studies that I now teach at Fresno City College.

Photo of 2022 Lund Scholar Sarah Muller

Erik in The Netherlands, 2020. Photo: Erik Damien Escovedo

My “American Indian Art” class explores the diverse art coming from the Indigenous Nations of the Americas to help students come to see what Native American art is really about, beyond the stereotypical ideas of “crafts” that have been attached to the works that Native people produce. The course also examines sociopolitical critiques expressed in post-modern Native American art that are responding to topics like social justice, Eurocentrism, cultural appropriation and Primitivism.

As a life-long learner, it is my belief that we are often presented with opportunities to learn something that will enrich our lives in one way or another. I want students to really take the time to explore the content of my courses and think about how some of it can bring value to their lives, beyond grades.

The opportunity to travel abroad was an invaluable experience, as it helped shape my perspective on how big the world is.

"Three Vultures" by Angel Lesnikowski, 2023

On the London EYE in 2020 with fellow Lund Scholars, instructors Robert Maldonado and Nick Potter, Lisa Lund-Brown and Buddy Brown.

The aspect of the Lund Scholarship that impacted me most was the demonstration of kindness, generosity and genuine interest that the board members showed to all of the scholars during our trip. The interaction with them made me feel welcomed and deserving of the experience, which I feel was an important part of the trip. I often see other Lund Scholars around the city, and it always feels nice to take a moment to reminisce about our experience. I keep in touch with the professors, too.

Receiving the Lund Scholarship had a great influence on my thinking and choices about my major and travel. My life would have been different because I would not have had the confidence to apply for other opportunities, like my current job as a college professor. The assurance that I was good enough to chase my dreams was communicated clearly by the affirmation of being picked for the trip.

Now, I’m enjoying a tenure-track teaching position at Fresno City College. There is a possibility that I will apply at Fresno State for my Ed.D, as I want to focus on equity in higher educational spaces.

Thank you, Edward O. Lund Foundation.

A part of my identity is being a Lund Scholar. Donating can and has changed lives.

"Three Vultures" by Angel Lesnikowski, 2023

“Alcatraz 1”, Erik Damien Escovedo, 2021

Erik Damien Escovedo is a Tarahumara and Mescalero Apache artist, activist, writer and tenure-track instructor in American Indian Studies at Fresno City College. He grew up in Fresno and graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor’s degree in American Indian Culture and Art in 2018, and a master’s in Studio Art in 2021.

In 2022, he presented “Decolonizing Place and Time,” a solo show held at Mt. San Jacinto College Art Gallery featuring epic-scale oil paintings that combined images of Native American activists and his personal family photos. Erik explains that the works are healing and honorific, recognizing the inter-generational trauma of his family’s experiences as Native people. He traveled to London as a Lund Scholar in 2019-20.

Erik Damien Escovedo: Crossing Disciplines to Cultivate Lifelong Learning

by | Mar 30, 2024 | Forever Lund Scholars, Uncategorized


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