Published on April 29th, 2016 | by Reporters Desk0
SPHS Students Show their Stuff
Lady in the Hat By Jack Paramore-Kemph. Courtesy Photo
By Arlo Tinsman-Kongshaug, Editorial Intern
Good art can be found anywhere: museums and empty lots, high-end hipster joints and concrete pavement, even the San Pedro High School gym. That was the site of the 2016 San Pedro Art Show on April 28.
Student Joshua Lopez, one of the artists in the school’s annual art show tried to describe one of his photos.
“One of the best photos I’ve taken was in a desert,” Joshua said. “I was at the top of a hill near dusk. When these racers, the quads or whatever, came by. I would leave the shutter speed [on the camera] open for a while as they went and the lights would go into these streaks. They’re like cars basically. And, by leaving the shutter speed on it exposes more light, so when you get the picture out it looks like it’s day but [with] these streaks of light through it … it just looked like a giant river of light inside the desert.”
Joshua’s thought-provoking and inspiring description rather captures the essence of the San Pedro Art Show. It’s a higher caliber of art, perhaps [more] than many people might be expecting from a teenager in an urban public school.
Jack Paramore-Kemph, another student, described his work.
“I was at Catalina Island over spring break and I met this girl on the express boat,” Jack said. “It was her birthday and I took her portrait over at Emerald Bay. I took it in black and white, reflecting her glasses and a very large hat. Seeing it all, it was very inspiring.”
In that same vein the works they produce don’t always feel safe. Sofia Seria-Hernandez, known by most as Ash, is yet another artist in the show who tends to epitomize it.
“My favorite piece would probably have to be The Face of Rage,” Ash said. “I haven’t even finished it yet, but it’s a sketch in pencil that shows the face of rage of a man…. Growing up I didn’t understand people’s emotions and I still don’t. I don’t understand how people feel about things, so drawing what I see people feel is how I understand things.”
Joshua, Jack and Ash shared their thoughts about people who underestimate their work because they are high school students.
“A high school art show is a good way for students to represent their artwork and to represent San Pedro High School because our student work represents the students as people and our future generation on this community,” Jack said.
Ash believes the art show is a vehicle to understand youth expression.
“You can actually express so much through art because you don’t have to use words, so it’s easy because it comes from you,” Ash said. “Everything we are is put into that art show. So, when you go to the art show you’re really seeing the pieces of the different kids. That’s all them, right there.”
Of course, being underestimated is not the only obstacle young artists face in reaching people. Due to the process of gentrification in this area, many people have come to see art as being a byproduct of hipsters moving into the community, and thus tend to associate it with the forces that are steadily driving them from their homes. As such, it is not surprising that many people in the community tend to treat art with some disdain, even seeing it as an enemy.
“Well, both in the community and our culture, the image of art has kind of been filtered into this idea of a very posh, high-end museum,” Jack said. “This just isn’t true … I embrace being the enemy or the outlier or the outlaw. I just keep doing what I’m doing. I do it for myself and it’s just a byproduct if people like my work or are inspired by it.”
Ash elaborated on art’s usefulness.
“I’d say that anything anyone is good at is practical, no matter what it is,” she said. “Artwork is actually very difficult to do and a lot of work goes into it, just like any other job.”
There is another reason why people should attend the show.
“Well, you never know how good art is until you see it,” Joshua said. “From my personal view, art is objective and you never know whose art is going to be good or bad, not that any art is bad. You should give it a try and go to the art show and show support to the arts we do have here at Pedro. It kind of means a lot to some of us and it helps us get a couple critiques on our artwork and it just helps us grow as teenagers and young adults.”