Art @ AST

From my knowledge, art is not, and has never been, AST’s priority. Even though they occasionally try to hide it through their different endeavors (like the PAC), it is clear that sports are their primary concern (which is a very interesting aspect now since it is something that has changed drastically because of the pandemic). Art energizes me, and as a student in the arts, it was really, really frustrating. I was glad to be able to make some progress as NAHS president in the ongoing fight to make the arts an important part of the AST community, but there is still so much that needs to be done. My hope is that the next generations of artists at AST continue to fight in order to be taken seriously. Even though covid didn’t allow me to fight for this, I really do hope that they are able to participate at the art ABSHs soon, which all my friends from other schools used to go to and have a blast at (AST wouldn’t go for the dumbest reasons and it was sooooo annoying because if their logic applied then they shouldn’t have been going to sport ABSHs or math ones or anything).

A picture of my first meeting as NAHS president, through Zoom (sadly).

Anyways, I will leave several artworks behind at AST that will probably get lost someday (unless I become extremely rich and famous which would lead to them really protecting them because they would be worth a lot of money, OR if Mr. Dobbe—who is an angel and loves art— keeps them). I will also be leaving the eagle mural at the cafeteria which will most likely be painted over one day as well. My mom also really wants me to create an artwork to leave at the PAC, but I am still debating if I want to do it or not because, again, I feel like art just isn’t appreciated here (which sucks).

The eagle mural at the cafeteria and the artists. This was a NAHS project but only a couple of us participated. I was the PR of NAHS at the time, which is why I was one of the people there. If not, I probably wouldn’t have been a part of the mural since this was my freshman year (I was a baby) and the rest of the girls were juniors.

The only piece of art that I am leaving behind that I know for sure will be appreciated is the one that will be in the art room: my ceiling tile. Every year, IB Art seniors get to paint one of the ceiling tiles of the class. At some point these tiles will run out, but I am glad to be a part of one of the last generations to do one of these (I think that there will be no more tiles in like 2–4 generations, depends on the amount of IB Art students… maybe they’ll have more tiles if they redo some of the ones that aren’t that great though).

Ms. Pamela hadn’t really though about us doing them, but I somehow brought it up in class one day around the IB Art Exhibit times and she said it was a great idea and would give us the tiles when we went to set up our exhibit. I ended up doing my exhibit at home, but a couple weeks later I went to pick up my ceiling tile.

Since no one saw this (and I don’t know if anyone will see these pictures aside from the person from IB, Ms. Pamela, and my parents), here is my exhibit.

For starters, the tile was a lot bigger than I imagined. It also had a bunch of little holes, which was something very different compared to the surfaces I usually paint on. I always thought I was going to do a hyperrealism piece on my ceiling tile, but I now knew several things. a) I was leaving for my trip to get vaccinated that weekend and had to finish this ASAP before I left, b) I was not going to enjoy creating the piece if I did it rushed and in a style that took me forever, and c) I was going to be working on a surface different from anything I’ve ever used, so doing something hyper-realistic was going to be a pain in the ass.

A style that I have been exploring recently in my art has been a lot more abstract, still playing with color like I usually do, but in a very different way. I was initially inspired by an artist I found on Instagram called Danielle Oberfoell (her @ is artbydvo in case you want to check her out). I was mostly inspired by the sketchy element of her artworks, but this style that I have been developing is now really different and looks nothing like hers. Moving on, I decided this was the way to go with this work, since it was going to pop, look cool in the ceiling, and it doesn’t take me that long.

Two of my artworks in this style which I am currently exploring.

Also, after speaking with one of the professors of art at the University of La Verne, Professor Keith Lord, at a scholarship interview*, he pointed out how my work has so many elements of pop art and graphic design in them— even the hyperrealism ones. I decided this new style in my work was going to be a good move since it is not only a new phase of my work, but it is super related to something that has been prevalent in art that I’ve done since freshman year (even though I didn’t know it).

* I got the scholarship… but I ended up not taking it (for several reasons)! That said, Professor Lord was amazing, lots of Mr. Jaén vibes and just so 🥺. I sorta want to email him and thank him for such an amazing experience; I will never forget that interview and what he said to me, he was just so so so sweet and nice.

After two long (but fun) all-nighters, the ceiling tile was finished— right before my trip. My dad dropped it off with my mom, who left it with Ms. Michelle Schneider, who was going to give it to Ms. Pamela the next day. It all worked out, and I am really proud of my result. I hope that this is one of the pieces that can continue living at AST long after I’m gone.

Two pictures of the final ceiling tile!

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