Student Cover Art Contest Winners 2008
The East Bay Monthly’s eighth annual Cover Contest celebrates the work of young artists and their teachers in public and private schools throughout the East Bay. The 2008 winner is Madeline Moe’s self-portrait in ink and watercolor, set before the San Francisco skyline, invoking youth and possibility.
In a time of budget constraints and emphasis on skills necessary for standardized testing, arts programs are often the first to go. But dedicated educators and parents passionate about the arts have done what they can to raise money necessary to keep art programs alive. As evidenced by the submissions from dozens of students from several local schools this year, art education is more than alive. It’s thriving.
Award-winning work from East Bay young artists who participated in The Monthly’s student cover art contest will be on display at the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA), 538 9th St., Oakland, Sept. 16-Oct. 12. Monthly publisher Karen Klaber will present awards to the three top and four honorable-mention winners during a reception on Sunday, Sept. 21, 4 p.m. at MOCHA.
Also at MOCHA this month, chalk it up for world peace with chalk, charcoal or pastels along with one million artists doing the same worldwide, at the Chalk4Peace free family event Sept. 20, 1-4 p.m. For more information call (510) 465-8770 or visit www.mocha.org.
Madeline Moe says her winning self-portrait in The Monthly’s annual cover contest is “a bit flattering” but more or less a realistic portrayal of herself. For the assignment in her Piedmont High School art class, Moe placed herself in her East Bay environment, with the Grand Lake Theatre in the foreground and the San Francisco skyline in the background. “I wanted to do something that was cheerful and about where I am happiest,” says Moe.
Moe, 17, spent a month this summer at the California State Summer School of the Arts where she studied painting, printmaking and ceramics. She says her parents, Beatrice and John, have always encouraged her artwork by buying her supplies and sketchbooks. “We went to some museums, but that didn’t interest me that much,” says Moe, laughing.
She says she prefers modern art to “old things.”
Moe is a senior this fall and plans to pursue art in college, though she’s not headed for art school. In addition to art, she likes to play lacrosse and study French.
Twelve year-old Sarah Levin is a seventh grader at Charlotte Wood Middle School in Danville and is legally blind. “When you cannot see clearly, you can create,” explains Levin. “I find clarity in doing paintings, the clarity I cannot find in life.”
While on her way to a semi-private art class in Walnut Creek, Levin said that art calms her down and makes her happy. She says her mom, Rita, is very supportive. “She copies it and tells me how proud she is and frames it; she takes me to art classes and does all that nice hard stuff,” says Levin.
Levin’s father died when she was 4 years old. Levin’s mother says her husband was an artist who started to paint a lot just before his death—suddenly pursuing a passion that he thought he’d have time for later in life.
More of Levin’s artwork will be shown in “Insights” at San Francisco City Hall in October, a show sponsored by Lighthouse for the Blind. Pieces from blind or visually impaired artists from around the world are selected for this exhibit.
Evan Yee’s Power is a six-foot, spray-painted, multi-media work that includes bullets, stenciling on acetate, as well as copies of the Communist Manifesto and Robert’s Rules of Order—objects that invoke order and power. The bullets, Yee explains, are intentionally falling off their assembly line to represent the corruption of power.
The work is one in a three-part series that Yee, 18, says expresses emotions he encountered during his junior year at Piedmont High School. The other pieces are Pain done in blue with a grasping hand and Passion in red with two clasped hands.
This summer, Yee spent nine hours a day working on his art at the highly selective Marie Walsh Sharpe program in Colorado Springs, Colo. The program offers free summer art workshops for the nation’s most gifted young visual artists. Yee says he’s bound for art school after graduation and has his eye on Cooper Union, New York University or Pratt Institute.
Yee says art enables him to express emotions that sometimes can’t be portrayed with words alone. “You can also put it on a wall and people can feel what you felt,” says Yee. “It can be very specific.”
Check back later for photos of the Honorable Mentions, plus photos of other entries.
Jaclyn Berry, Bottled Up (mixed media, pen and ink, computer graphics)