Celebrating Aquinas Alumni: Elena Onwochei-Garcia – English Heritage Portrait Commission

Elena Onwochei-Garcia with her painting.

Ex Aquinas student Elena Onwochei-Garcia is one of six artists commissioned by English Heritage to paint African figures from history. She is featured in the article in the Guardian ‘Paintings reveal hidden histories of Africans in England’ and talks about her portrait of the Roman emperor Septimius Serverus on BBC Look North; the painting will be on display until November at Corbridge Roman Town on Hadrian’s Wall. Elena left Aquinas in 2014 having achieved excellent results in her A levels, studying Art, History, Politics and Spanish. After having a gap year, spending 3 months in Venice and 6 months in Chile, Elena started her degree in Art History and History at Durham. During her degree she studied in Rome (Erasmus) and after completing her degree she worked in Venice for a year at the Guggenheim; Elena has recently returned to the UK. We are so excited and pleased to see her fantastic progress since studying at Aquinas, and hope to be able to visit the portrait on display in Northumbria. Well done Elena.

In consumer magazine coverage, BBC History Magazine recommends Painting Our Past in its June diary pages, and British Archaeology features the exhibition in its July issue. Regional press includes online articles by the Ham and High and Northamptonshire Telegraph.

The featured photograph is sourced from the Guardian.

Further Information

BBC News Website – The African figures forgotten by England’s cultural past

English Heritage – Painting Our Past

The Guardian – Paintings reveal hidden histories of Africans in England

Aquinas College – Art Craft and Design A level