When Noemi Mangual-Rosa enrolled at Essex County College in 2014, she began as a Biology, Pre-Medicine major. But it didn’t take the Belleville resident long to reconsider. “I realized that Biology was not my cup of tea.”
So Noemi, 24, decided to major in something that she has enjoyed since seventh grade, art. Of course that was after some soul searching as “I was not sure of what career path to take.”
A self-admitted late bloomer and even a bit of a “nomad”, Noemi is now on schedule to graduate from Essex with an Associate in Art this May. She will then transfer to Rutgers University-Newark, buoyed by a $12,000 a year scholarship, where she will major in art education.
“Art has been a part of my life for a very long time,” said Noemi, who was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Newark. She is a graduate of Newark’s Arts High School, just down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from the Essex campus.
Name the medium and Noemi has probably done it, from ink to water color to gouache, a method using opaque pigment. She also does ceramics with some photography thrown in for good measure. “Really, any medium is fair game.”
She proudly displays a series of ink drawings from her portfolio, ranging from the American icon Marilyn Monroe to a frightening depiction of Medusa representing Wrath, one of the seven deadly sins. Noemi has also drawn for class state promotion posters from both New Jersey and New York, for example.
After class, Noemi finds time to teach art to pre-kindergarten children at a private school in Montclair.
Noemi’s talents and dedication have certainly caught the eye of Professor Barbara Pogue, coordinator of the College’s Art Program who has had the young artist in several of her classes. “Noemi is a serious young woman with much experience, which she brings to every art project and shares with the children she assists after her classes. Her art work is fresh, original and exciting to behold.”
As she nears graduation, Noemi is grateful for the time she has spent at the College. “Essex College has really helped me grow here the last few years.” Her time at the college came after spending a couple of years doing a variety of jobs after high school graduation before deciding to continue her education.
At Rutgers, she will be part of the Honors Living-Learning Community.
“I can confidently say now I’m pretty sure of the direction I’m going.”