The Prospector

Poster promotes Obama’s 2012 campaign

By Kristopher Rivera

Published: Monday, January 16, 2012

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013


Greg Castillo / The Prospector

Edgar Bonilla won this years “Obama For America” competition. His design was one of twelve finalists to make it to the last judging.

Obama 2

Greg Castillo / The Prospector

Bonilla said the hands shaking symbolize someone hiring another person for a job.

By Kristopher Rivera

The Prospector

Since kindergarten, Edgar Bonilla, junior graphic design and sculpture major, has had to cross the border from Ciudad Juárez to El Paso to study in the United States. Now, he sits in the student publications office as a graphic designer for Minero magazine and he is one of the winners of last year's "Obama For America" poster contest.

With his winning poster signed by President Barack Obama hanging on his wall, more opportunities open up to develop his passion for graphic designing. He stays busy by working a second job at the graphic design lab at the Fox Fine Arts Center and doing freelance work for small businesses.

"When I saw my poster with the 12 finalists, all I could notice was the names of the other competitors and where they were from," Bonilla said. "It was New York, Washington… and then El Paso; it was a pretty good feeling."

Anne Giangiulio, associate professor of art and graphic design, had her class design posters for the contest that supported Obama's 2012 presidential campaign and his plan of creating American jobs.

This assignment gave students class credit, but also a similar experience of what they may deal with in a professional setting.

"In my opinion, a lot of them looked pretty good," Giangiulio said. "They had nice aesthetics, but they didn't necessarily have the strong concept that I think Edgar had. So not only did Edgar's look good but it was strong conceptually."

Bonilla got to work right away and for one month shuffled through different concepts, sketches and prints. Two weeks before the deadline, his final section began to take shape.

Soon after submission, Bonilla received an e-mail notifying him he was a finalist in the contest.

"My motivation was Fort Bliss and the military population we have here in El Paso," Bonilla said. "Also, it was a tribute to my aunt because she's in the navy."

Bonilla wanted to create an image that bled more than just the colors red, white and blue. He presented a design that would resemble several different meanings.

"I tried to make the design like…putting two images into one," Bonilla said. "The ranked patch and the clasped hands symbolized the shaking of the hands like when someone is given a job. It also signified Obama's promise that he was going to bring the troops back and that he was going to offer jobs to the veterans."

Berenice Mendez, senior graphic design major and co-worker of Bonilla's, appreciates the work ethic he implements and the great exploit he has given the university and the city.

"We're not a big university and the art department is to some extent small," Mendez said. "But having students like him that actually set their standards very high, as high as the top art colleges, serves as a very good example."

Bonilla says his work ethic is a reflection of his parents, who had pushed him since his younger years to get an education and hoped to give their children a better future.

"My family has been very humble, they have worked a lot and done a lot," Bonilla said. "Every time I do something, like win the competition, their sacrifices pay off. It's their goals too, they're watching me thrive."

Bonilla wants to continue studying and doing art with hopes to study abroad and get an internship that would fulfill his dreams.

"I don't know where I'm going to end up," Bonilla said. "I'm just going to keep working and let my work take me wherever it's going to take me."

Kristopher Rivera may be reached at


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