Art students compete in virtual league festival

Close up detail of an eye by Chayla Owen

With this year being as crazy as it is, schools and students still want to have some normality. The art show was scheduled to be hosted by Mission Valley, but due to COVID-19 they decided to hold it online. For this to work, each school needed to set up its own website to post students’ work for other schools and judges to see.

There were many categories of artwork to enter, from painting and ceramics to sculpture and computer arts. Students are able to submit these by either having their art teacher take pictures or giving their teachers their own pictures of the work.

With the art show being online there came some challenges and expectations from the art teachers and students, like having to learn how to make a website and working with Google Sites. 

“I would say trying to judge art on a screen makes things more difficult. I don't think you can get the full experience of the art work on a screen, and maybe trying to create a website,” art instructor Hugo Escobar said. “I felt a little overwhelmed when I found out about making a website in order to have the show, but again I think I would have felt the same way if we had it physically being new to these types of events.”

Students who had submitted their works in previous years at the festival also missed the hands-on presentations that were held during the event, as well as trying to figure out how to get the best photos of their works to put on the website.

“It was quite different this year to not travel to Mission Valley for the art show. Because of COVID we had to do everything virtual. I sent two of my oil paintings from last year to Mr. Escobar through email and he submitted them for me,” junior Laura Koch. ”I had to make sure the pictures I took of my paintings really showed the best qualities, because the judges wouldn’t see my paintings in person. I missed not being able to see all of the other pieces of artwork at the show. I wish they would have done it in person, because we definitely would have been able to do it with social distancing and masks.”

Students who had never competed before didn’t necessarily realize what they were missing from attending the festival in person.

“This was my first year entering the art contest, but I know that if the contest had been held in person, we would have gone and gotten to see everyone’s art in person. I think it would have been fun if it were in person, but it doesn’t bother me that it wasn’t,” sophomore Chayla Owen said. “I felt pretty good about winning first in pencil. I really didn’t think I would have because I saw the other drawings on the website and some of them were really good. Mr. Escobar really helped make the contest happen because he had to create the website and put all of our entries in.”

Placings in the art show included: sophomore Chayla Owen placed 1st in Pencil, senior Chase Owen 3rd in Ceramic Sculpture, junior Kaylee Simpson placed 1st in Photography, senior Jocelyn Zuniga placed 2nd in Photography, Koch placed 1st in Oil Painting, senior Julia Filinger placed 3rd in Oil Painting, senior Ivy Francis placed 3rd in Photography and 2nd in Computer Art. sophomore Rafael Zuniga placed 1st in miscellaneous 3D Sculptures and was also awarded Best of show in 3D. 

“I think the art show being online was for the best with, but it would’ve been cool if it could’ve been in person. I am surprised I got first, but I’m glad that I did,” Rafael said.