Saturday, May 7th 2022 RAA (Redwood Art Association, 603 F Street,)– showcased Humboldt County High School students from Arcata, Fortuna, and Eureka alongside Humboldt State University. It was a beautiful mix of emotion, progression, and styles brought on by these inspirational artists. I found my heart over stimulated with a variety of art techniques, media, and themes. High school students expressed in-depth, mature, and well analyzed concepts along with impactful self theory, imagination, and creativity.
(All pronouns unless otherwise given remain they/their)
Naia Ponzo won first place out of the high school showcase for their drawing Through the Woods. They were complemented on its use of texture and detail using pen on paper. A scene of a porcupine captures the depth of a small woodland area and the complexity of nature and life.
(Naia Ponzos, Fortuna)
This exhibit was a great reminder for any adult to not give up on their creative drive. Artistic spark can be drowned out by the need to survive. While stories are told through creative endeavors.
(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)
Natalie Rodriquez, Lily of the Valley, a fantasy painting of a woman holding a harp in the forest accompanied by woodland creatures. Reflects life in the redwoods and finding wellness in isolation.
(Louis Marak, Arcata)
Louis Marak’s Night Skull linoleum print won third place. A creature with a hut attached to its body with smoke lifting from the chimney. The artist left room for the interpreter’s mind to -=their own story.
(Nico Headlee, Eureka)
Honorable mention of Nico Headlee and the unique medium, tempera, Untitled impressionist painting of a castle. The depth and dull colors makes you feel like you could step into this world. A sense of playfulness and realism.
The styles of these student’s show through their work. Specific choices to use mediums, canvases, and themes that will surely reoccur in their future projects as well as reflect their passions and mindset of their youth. As an observer I am reminded of how talented humans are and how heavy the critique ego can be on the heart.
(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)
Natalie Rodriquez, drawing Forget Me Not, a well executed cartoon like depiction of lesbians embracing. The shading is well placed and defined. Framed and characterized with flowers.
(Chloe Asness, Arcata)
Forgive my picture taking. Chloe Asness Untitled, surrealism ink drawing. A woman’s mind blown out with searching eyeballs, perhaps symbolizing the fear of how one is interpreted by others.
(Mariza Guimares, Fortuna)
This magnificent painting by Mariza Guimares called Deep End, a woman underwater in a yellow dress. The soft colors and reflection in the water, another well executed impressionist piece.
(Cassidy Thorpe, Arcata)
This picture got a lot of shine but Cassidy Thorpe, Untitled, oil painting of vases and flowers similar to the Old Master Rachel Ruysch’s style with a dark background and an exquisite floral arrangement. The painting almost looks wet in the smooth strokes where the petals hit the water.
(Tasuki Kato, McKinleyville)
Tasuki Kato, Untitled, graphite portrait. A young woman, hair and facial depth well defined. So life like you could pick this character out at a grocery store. Something in the eyes, playfully bringing on the future.
(Alden Mauro, Arcata)
Alden Mauro won first prize, Untitled, a two piece floral oil painting. Experimenting with a variety of flowers and fitting detail and color into the vase while keeping a sense of space around it. The fallen petals can be interpreted as a reminder of a temporary form.
(Mirian Wheeler, McKinleyville)
Walking into the RAA you would have been greeted with ceramic art. Here is Mirian Wheeler’s ceramic jar Feeling Peachy. I really enjoy the surreal gore aspect here. The metaphoric use of a peach may speak to you as the sweetness of a child’s life is full of chaos.
(Samuel Hood, Arcata)
Samuel Hood’s Untitled colored pencil portrait of a flower woman in the nude. Being one with nature and producing the flower.
It is easy to relate high school with innocence. A lot of first times, fewer responsibilities, and less worldly knowledge, we can easily forget that our experiences are built from a core experience. Many of which start in high school. Themes of money aren’t very common here but I think many of us can still relate to the depictions in these pictures and our very own first experiences and how they shaped us to be who we are today.
(Keigen Shaykett, Arcata)
“This is living.”
Keigen Shaaykett’s Hot Wax Rider, a graphite drawing, has a clear similarity to 50’s cartoons while expressing a fast drug life and party scene. A candle burning on top of his head, as if the birthdays are coming so fast, he might as well keep the candle lit. A broken hula hoop framing a character on a bicycle’s face. A bottle in this mouth, holding a pill bottle spilling drug content. His other hand is in an almost yogi zen position, waving high. Accompanied by five other hands, a mix of pop art and surrealism.
(Keioni Young, Arcata)
Keioni Young, Untitled, a beautiful Graphite drawing of a young man going somewhere. Bag in hand, smile on his face, dressed in comfort, this picture captures a moment, a feeling of freedom and adventure.
(Paycie Holland, Arcata)
Paycie Holland, Gliophorus Psittacinus, modern art, digital painting of a green mushroom woman dancing. Themes of body acceptance, and therapeutic mushrooms are expressed here against bold contrasting colors of orange and green. Bringing up a controversial topic of allowing medicinal mushrooms to be widely accepted and the healing that can occur when we accept all body shapes and live in self love.
(Abigail Garcia, McKinleyville)
Abigail Garcia, Untitled, watercolor uses blends of colors to draw emotions out of the young woman’s face. A fun, playful, coming of age image.
The following images are from Cal Poly Humboldt students.
(Valie Ward, Arcata)
Valie Ward’s outstanding image, Bliss, an acrylic painting on canvas with crystals. This image captures feeling and sound. It provokes an emotion of soothing comfort like when you give yourself a hug.
(Karina Juarez, Arcata)
Karina Juarez honorable mention, Nido De Abejas (Honeycomb,) ceramic tea set. Life sized bees and a beautifully presented soft curved honeycomb.
(Jolie Chaidez and Catalina Carlton, Arcata)
Jolie Chaidez ceramic vase, I’m your Venus (Left) blue and purple colors, rounded edges flowing gracefully, this piece looks like the liquids not meant to be trapped inside but can easily pour out. Catalina Carlton, Untitled, a sinful creature with tattoos, smoking a cigarette, the devil in all of us. Fun and excitable.
(Jacqueline Vasquez, McKinleyville)
Best in Show went to Jacqueline Vasquez, ceramic piece, Slab City. A tower, similar to a magician’s top hat, indented with many lines, waves at the brim, folded into its sides and open at the crown. This image represents a city built up by nomads towering for sustainability, and fighting for security. This piece has so much to say and represents it in texture.