HomeCommunity NewsGlendale School District Artists Express Themselves in Senior Show

Glendale School District Artists Express Themselves in Senior Show

Showcasing the talents of 41 students across Glendale Unified School District, the Senior Show, put on in collaboration with the district and Glendale Arts, features artwork across a variety of mediums such as painting, sculptures and mixed media.
On display at ace/121 Gallery through June 29, the Senior Show exhibition portrays a range of themes including plastic pollution, cultural heritage and coming of age.
With the milestone of graduation weighing on the Class of 2024, recent graduate of Crescenta Valley High School Sarina Lin said she used this transition as inspiration for her piece, “A Thousand Mile Journey.”
Inspired by a Chinese idiom that Lin said roughly translates to “a thousand-mile journey starts with the first step,” Lin’s work “relates to the journey of a high school student, starting as a baby with your first steps until you graduate and walk across the stage.”
She accomplished this duality by “interlacing two separate paintings and assembling it to mimic a transforming lenticular print,” Lin wrote in her submission to be a part of the show.
Having taken art classes throughout her time at CVHS, Lin will continue exploring her passion at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is excited to continue focusing on painting as well as exploring more mediums. This was Lin’s first time seeing her work displayed in a gallery.
GUSD Arts Coordinator Jennifer Earl said she and Glendale Arts executives were “excited and thrilled” with how the exhibit came together and its reception from the community since opening on May 29.
“Art leads to connections and healing and I think the community seeing the talent of the kids and the instructors is priceless,” Earl said.
In line with the theme of growing up, Emily Manookian’s “Reflection” painting depicts a young woman looking at a younger version of herself.
“This one I titled ‘Reflection’ because it is her looking at herself, but it’s also reflecting on her past,” Manookian, a recent graduate of Hoover High School, said. “… She’s reflecting on when she was younger and maybe less insecure or before she experienced trauma.”
Mirroring defining features such as moles, freckles and eye color for the two figures in her painting was key to demonstrating the relationship of current and past self. Manookian weighed in on how her own transition to young adulthood was affected by COVID-19, as she and her peers were not able to socialize and connect upon moving from middle to high school.
Planning to pursue a career in interior design, Manookian will continue to find time to create art as a hobby going forward.

Sarina Lin poses with her piece, “A Thousand Mile Journey,” at the Senior Show’s opening. — Photos courtesy Vic Pallos
Emily Manookian takes pride in her painting titled “Reflection” at the Senior Show.

Students whose art is showcased at the exhibit had the option of putting their pieces up for sale and a number of pieces have already sold in the first week, Earl said.
“It’s been like jaws dropping when they find out that someone wants to buy their pieces,” Earl said. “They’re having a hard time believing it and so it’s a great opportunity to build up their confidence, especially if they want to be a working artist in the future.”
GUSD has held similar showcases in past years, but this is the first time it has put on the show at Glendale Arts ace/121 Gallery. Deeming this collaboration “the new face of the Senior Show,” Earl said next year’s show will continue at ace/121.
As for making the selections, Glendale Arts and GUSD worked together to finalize the lineup. They emulated the formal process of any professional art gallery looking for pieces, prompting students to fill out an online form that asked for pictures and sizes of their pieces, price if they wished to sell, resumes and other shows they have been in.
Earl noted that a number of students did not wish to sell their pieces, adding that ahead of next year’s show, she would like to teach students about creating art specifically to sell versus creating pieces just for themselves.
“Parting with something you put your heart into can be hard for the kids and believing that it’s worth being bought is something we can work on with them,” Earl said.
Additionally, Earl said that going forward, she is also interested in creating an opportunity for the students to have a more active role in curating and installing the show.
Overall, the district and Glendale Arts are vastly impressed with the creative and meaningful pieces made by the students.
“These kids have things to say,” Earl said. “As my grandmother would say, ‘from the mouths of babes’ [meaning] when kids say something and you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, why didn’t we think of that?’ The messages our youth have to share are present in that gallery.”

Left to right: Eliora Marks’ “David Bowie,” Sierra Bloemsma’s “Allen’s Hummingbird,” Hailee Hollingsworth’s “Jellyfish” and Tara Fox’s “Bridge to Nowhere.” — Photos by Kennedy Zak / Glendale News-Press
Paintings by Poppy Luna.
Left to right: Sarah Rodgers’ “Garden of Mushrooms,” Sophia Lent’s oil painting, Hailee Hollingsworth’s “Wrapped Around My Finger” and Bethany Manuel’s “Our Mind is the Ocean.”

First published in the June 8 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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