College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199

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Art + Art History Alumna, Norma Rodriguez, Finds Her Passion Behind The Lens

As a child, Norma Carolina Rodriguez, would spend her time observing, studying or looking at people and things; a visual artist in the making. She never excelled at painting or drawing and she knew somewhere in the art scene she would find her niche.

Fast forward to when she entered high school, she took the opportunity to enroll in as many art classes her school offered.

“When I took my first photography class, I picked up the camera and I knew that this was what I’m supposed to be doing,” explained Rodriguez.

After finishing her time at Miami Dade College, Rodriguez transferred to Florida International University to pursue her degree in Fine Arts. However, this task was no easy one.

“It took me four years to complete my BFA. I was working, taking two classes a semester and handling everything that comes along with being a single mom,” explained Rodriguez, “All I wanted was to graduate and finally, last December it happened.”

Rodriguez received her Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Department of Art + Art History last fall with her thesis in color, digital photography, a complete transition from her original medium of black and white film. Her thesis project began with taking portrait photographs of whomever was available, whether it was men or women. Eventually, it organically narrowed down to just photographing women.

The more she photographed women, the more she realized her similarity to them. Capturing a variety of faces from different cultures, races, ages and ethnicity, she began to gather a collection of photographs that evolved into an on-going series entitled, The Women.

“My thesis was a big surprise to me,” explained Rodriguez, “When I left Miami Dade [College] there was a period of time where I wasn’t going to school so I found it more difficult to continue my passion without a dark room to develop film. My introduction to color, digital photography at FIU completely changed my perspective on photography.”

Currently, Rodriguez is employed by Miami Dade College Wolfson campus. She plans to apply to graduate school in the future and continue her series, The Women. Stories like this one of Norma Rodriguez show that anything is possible with passion and persistence. Her general enthusiasm for portraits, people and photography make her a great example of the CARTA family.

“It feels great to be an FIU CARTA graduate,” said Rodriguez.

Featured image credited to Norma Rodriguez

To find out more information on the artist, please contact Norma Carolina Rodriguez at nrodr175@fiu.edu.

To read more about the BFA program, please click here.

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