The Monthly and co-sponsor Blick Art Materials are proud to use the magazine’s celebrated cover space to feature the work of talented local youth. We want to also express our appreciation for the dedicated parents and talented art teachers in our schools and art programs. Without their creativity and hard work, many of these budding artists might not have tried their hands at painting, collage, or sketching. We thank them for supporting their students and our contest every year.
Carol Aust will present awards to the three top and seven honorable-mention
winners on Sunday, October 8 at Blick’s Art Materials, 811 University
Avenue, Berkeley. Reception begins at 6PM, Awards will be presented
at 6:30PM. Refreshments will be served. All Honorable Mention winners
will be presented with an art “goody” bag. All contest
participants who attend the ceremony will receive a free sketchbook,
and may pick up their artwork at this time. All winning and honorable
entires will be on display for the ceremony.
Jamie Solomon has enjoyed drawing and sketching for years, but the portrait on our cover this month was one of Solomon’s first pieces made using chalk pastels.
“The stuff I do is most often pencil sketches in a sketchbook,” she says. “This was one of the first times I’ve worked with chalk pastels and I fell in love with it. I sat there for six hours putting on tons of pastel and I really like the way it turned out.”
Solomon, 17, enters her senior year at Piedmont High this month. This first place–winning piece was made for an assignment in Solomon’s advanced-placement art class last year. Students were asked to pick a theme and then to make three pieces of art with that theme in mind.
chose to focus on the idea of isolation and used her sister, Terry,
as a model for each piece.
Another piece in the series shows a group of passengers on a BART train, none of them relating directly to one another.
“They’re each listening to music or reading the newspaper, in that way people can be alone even in a group,” Solomon says.
Always “the artist in the family,” Solomon enjoys acting and singing in her school’s drama department productions and she’s keeping an open mind about what life after high school will bring.
“I’m an artistically inclined person but in terms of doing that for a career or studying it in college, I’m not sure how far I’d take it,” she says. “I’m trying to figure that out.”
In this second place–winning image Mara Gerson was inspired by color. As a student artist at Oakland’s Junior Center of Art and Science last year Gerson chose a photograph of a young African girl in bright traditional costume, and sat down to copy it with colored pencils and oil pastels.
jewelry and costume were interesting to me,” Gerson says.
“I started taking classes in figure drawing and learning to make shadows,” she says. “I keep a sketchbook with me now and draw people I see around me.
“I enjoy drawing people the most,” she continues. “I try to capture the personality and what they’re thinking. I think you can get that feeling with a person and not necessarily with an object or even an animal.”
What the girl in this picture might be thinking about, Gerson cannot guess. But her look invites Gerson to think about life in another part of the world. “She lives in a totally different culture.”
In addition to art, Gerson enjoys dancing, both jazz and modern. In school she’s on the diving team. But her artist’s eye is always in focus.
For Lani Fung, making art has been an inspiration. In her art class at school, she’s discovered the pleasure of creating beautiful things.
“I’ve started to see color and brightness in the world,” she says. “That’s why I chose to make this piece using every color of the rainbow.”
in this third place–winning portrait is Fung herself. For a class
assignment, Fung chose to explore the idea of “hot” for
a series of pieces. This piece shows the sun giving off a rainbow of
heat onto Fung.
Fung took advantage of that freedom with the materials as well as the concept for the piece. Having used chalk pastels before, she’d looked at books to see how other artists worked with them. Then she broke off and found her own style.
“I didn’t want to blend them with my finger. I liked letting them blend themselves. They come out brighter that way.”
Entering her senior year at Piedmont High this month, Fung also enjoys sports. She studied gymnastics for ten years and now is taking tennis lessons. She hopes to continue making art well beyond high school.
“ It eases my mind and makes the academic stuff a lot easier.”