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Student Cover Art Contest Winners 2012

FRESH IMAGES

The East Bay Monthly’s 12th annual Cover Contest celebrates the work of young artists in grades six through 12—and their teachers—in public and private schools throughout the East Bay. We’re pleased to announce this year’s winners, and also extend our congratulations to the many other talented student artists who submitted their work.

FIRST PLACE

Robert Yu
Piedmont High School
Stroll in the Park
(chalk pastel)

Junior at Piedmont High School this fall, Robert Yu wasn’t aiming for the stars when he started sketching his prize-winning “Stroll in the Park” in his family’s living room last year—he was just noodling around. “I love to draw and find myself sketching and drawing in my notebook whenever I can,” says Yu, 16, whose only art training has been through classes at Piedmont High. “I just want people to enjoy my artwork.”
A fan of vivid color and sunsets, Yu says that “Stroll in the Park” is intended to convey “a sense of love” with “two worlds coming together and two people walking in the middle taking a wonderful journey together.
“I really wanted to touch people emotionally,” he says. “I want them to feel something, whether it is the rich color contrast, the flow, or the overall quality of it. When they see the blue side, I want them to feel a little dark; when they see the red side I want them to feel warm inside.”
A member of the honor society at Piedmont High, Yu looks forward to a career in medicine or science in order “to help people physically and mentally.” A fifth-degree black belt in wushu (a form of kung fu), he has won more than 170 martial arts awards and trophies as well as more than 40 “All Around Grand Championship”awards, and is a member of the United States National Traditional Wushu Team. In the past two years, he’s also discovered a passion for dance and
choreography, and regularly gets together with friends for b-boy (break dancing) or hip hop. “To me, motion makes the art come alive,” he says. “The overall art style that enthralls me the most is when artists capture motion.”


SECOND PLACE
Leslie Zhang
Piedmont High School
Not Feel Lonely
(pastel)

When Leslie Zhang was small, she loved the Disney movie version of The Little Mermaid. The 16-year-old Piedmont High School junior later read and enjoyed the original—and much darker—Hans Christian Anderson version. Her pastel piece, “Not Feel Lonely,” the second-place winner, is inspired by both versions of the famous tale.
“It’s a less traditional take on it, with more of a stylish fashion take, in terms of the aesthetic combo of the traditional childhood story mixed with something more mature,” says Zhang, who sees herself exploring business, marketing, or advertising.
The mostly self-taught Zhang, currently a coxswain for an Oakland Strokes rowing team, also won an honorable mention last year in a fashion design contest run by Cornell University. She explored the theme of dichotomy by contrasting femininity and masculinity through combining flowers with a knight’s armor in a single outfit. Most of her artistic inspiration comes from real people, she says, but she also names Junko Mizuno, Kira Imai, François Boucher, and Michelangelo as influences.


THIRD PLACE
Xinyue Wang
Piedmont High School
Early Morning Chinatown
(acrylic)

When Xinyue Wang’s family emigrated from China to the United States, it was difficult for her to adjust to the new country and culture. The one thing that eased her transition, however, was the weekly trip she and her friends would make to Oakland’s Chinatown, which made them “feel more at home,” she explains. With her third-place–winning acrylic painting, “Early Morning Chinatown,” Wang expresses what the area means to her. She draws her inspiration from more realistic styles, and from nature. “I don’t really have a favorite artist,” says Wang, who hopes to convey her own experiences and interests through her art. In addition to her artistic talents, Wang, now a senior at Piedmont High, has been playing piano for almost six years. She also enjoys cooking, and helps her mother with dinner every night. Her real passion, however, is for science. She is focused on studying biology, and wants to become a medical researcher. “I do art on my own time, and at school,” she says. “But more as a hobby.”

HONORABLE MENTION: Emma Altieri, “Etching of a Peacock Feather” (etching with chine colle); Rachel Frankel, “Lower East Side” (ink and watercolor); Sarah Levin, “Universal Harmony” (watercolor); Anna Sanford, “Ballet Shoes” (chalk pastel); Maya Thomas, “Astrid” (chalk pastel); Rhea Woo, “Tree” (acrylic).

Emma Altieri
Emma Altieri, “Etching of a Peacock Feather” (etching with chine colle)
Rachel Frankel
Rachel Frankel, “Lower East Side” (ink and watercolor)

Sarah Levin, “Universal Harmony” (watercolor)
Anna Sanford
Anna Sanford, “Ballet Shoes” (chalk pastel)
Maya Thomas, “Astrid”
Maya Thomas, “Astrid” (chalk pastel)
Rhea Woo, “Tree”
Rhea Woo, “Tree” (acrylic)

 

 

 FIRST PLACE Robert Yu Piedmont High School

FIRST PLACE
Robert Yu
Piedmont High School
Stroll in the Park
(chalk pastel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND PLACE Leslie Zhang Piedmont High School Not Feel Lonely

SECOND PLACE
Leslie Zhang
Piedmont High School
Not Feel Lonely
(pastel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIRD PLACE Xinyue Wang Piedmont High School Early Morning Chinatown

THIRD PLACE
Xinyue Wang
Piedmont High School
Early Morning Chinatown