"For me, teaching is the best thing a person can give others…."
"I'm Miluska Frida Pantigoso Castellanos. I was born in Lima on November 4, 1968. From my earliest years I had a great ability for drawing and painting, and this led me to win the 'Flowers and Fiestas of Peru' art contest, organized at the national level by the Italian Embassy.
"With the work 'Los Músicos Andinos' (The Andean Musician), my painting was published in a number of newspapers and magazines, and was used on a greeting card by the Foundation for the Children of Peru. It was then taken to the Pinacoteca della eta' Evolutiva en Rezzato, Brescia in Italy, the only such museum in the world dedicated exclusively to children's art. When I was 16, I held my first exhibit outside Peru. The following year, one of the members of the jury – artist Teodoro Núñez Ureta – suggested I study for a career in fine art.
In 1986, I entered the I.S.T. 'María Rosario Araoz Pinto' in Lima and graduated in 1989 with a degree in publicity design. I worked ad honorem as an art professor and teacher in a number of primary schools in my district. Then, in 1995, I graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes del Perú where I continued studying to be a fine art teacher. That same year, I participated in my first collective exhibit in my old alma mater, the I.S.T. 'María Rosario Araoz Pinto,' and in the Cultural Center of the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Lima. Since then I've had many more and this makes me feel proud.
"Currently, I teach art at the Instituto IDEA, an art school for children with special needs. I believe I've learned a lot from my students through their spontaneity and their infinite capacity to love. They've given me the chance to help them learn to express their inner world through art.
"For me, teaching is the best thing a person can give others. I learned this from my father, along with other phrases that he'd repeat to us when we were children.
"The opportunity to share deeply through art with these special children is wonderful. They make us richer with their way of being. My work with them is quite personalized, teaching each one of them according to his or her needs and limitations. My goal as a teacher and artist is to achieve a great stimulus and trust, to reinforce their self esteem as we work to develop better coordination, speed and ability. Thus my students' paintings speak to us and reveal what they are like and how they can improve.
"People's natural perfection consists in the use of their faculties, adapted to the ends their own natures reveal to be their destiny. I thank God for giving me the gift of painting and, through it, the ability to transmit to others that they have a need for it!"