July 14, 2024 9:44 pm

Glendale School District Artists Shine in Senior Show at ace/121 Gallery

The Senior Show, a collaborative effort between the Glendale Unified School District and Glendale Arts, features the artistic talents of 41 students from across the district. This exhibition, on display at ace/121 Gallery until June 29, includes a variety of mediums such as painting, sculpture, and mixed media, with themes ranging from plastic pollution to cultural heritage and coming of age.

One featured artist, Sarina Lin, a recent graduate of Crescenta Valley High School, drew inspiration from her graduation for her piece, “A Thousand Mile Journey.” Lin’s work is based on a Chinese idiom that translates to “a thousand-mile journey starts with the first step.” Her piece reflects the journey from infancy to graduation, achieved by interlacing two separate paintings to mimic a transforming lenticular print. Lin, who has taken art classes throughout her time at CVHS, will continue her artistic pursuits at the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing on painting and exploring new mediums. This exhibition marks her first time seeing her work displayed in a gallery.

Jennifer Earl, GUSD Arts Coordinator, expressed excitement about the exhibit’s success and community reception since its opening on May 29. Earl highlighted the connections and healing that art fosters, noting the value in showcasing the talents of both students and instructors.

Another artist, Emily Manookian, a recent graduate of Hoover High School, contributed a painting titled “Reflection,” depicting a young woman looking at a younger version of herself. Manookian’s work explores the theme of growing up and reflecting on past experiences, including the impact of COVID-19 on her transition to young adulthood. Planning a career in interior design, Manookian intends to continue creating art as a hobby.

The exhibit offers students the opportunity to sell their artwork, with several pieces sold within the first week. Earl described the students’ reactions to selling their work as overwhelmingly positive, with many finding it hard to believe their pieces were in demand. This experience aims to build their confidence for potential careers as working artists.

While GUSD has held similar showcases in the past, this is the first time the Senior Show has been hosted at Glendale Arts ace/121 Gallery. Earl regards this collaboration as the “new face of the Senior Show” and plans to continue the partnership next year. The selection process for the show mirrored that of professional art galleries, with students submitting images, sizes, prices, resumes, and details of previous exhibitions.

Earl observed that some students chose not to sell their pieces, and she aims to teach them the difference between creating art for sale and for personal expression. She also envisions giving students a more active role in curating and installing future exhibitions. Overall, the district and Glendale Arts are highly impressed with the students’ creative and meaningful contributions.

“These kids have things to say,” Earl remarked. “As my grandmother would say, ‘from the mouths of babes’—when kids say something, and you realize, ‘Oh, yeah, why didn’t we think of that?’ The messages our youth have to share are present in that gallery.”