Sophomore receives complimentary speech as high-school jazz band performs at Youth Art Month reception (video included)

Héloïse Schep
Sophomore Alex Rogawski, juniors Lily Brown, Annya Dahmani and Katia Dahmani, sophomore Heidi Johnson and senior Fred Xu perform at the Crocker Art Museum’s Youth Art Month reception.

It isn’t every day that two student artists can see their artwork in a museum. And it’s even rarer when those two students win first place in a prestigious art competition.

At Crocker Art Museum (216 O St.), seventh-grader Casey Vasquez and sophomore Sophie Naylor will be able to see their pieces on display for the entirety of Youth Art Month (YAM).

The exhibition can be visited until April 2.

To celebrate YAM, the Crocker Art Museum held a reception on March 12, sponsored by the California Art Education Association (CAEA).

The first part of the event consisted of a ceremony in Crocker’s Ballroom for each student whose artwork was featured in the exhibit.

It also included an award ceremony, during which it was announced which students will proceed to YAM’s state competition.

Naylor’s painting, “The Swimmer,” won first place in the 9-12th grade painting category.

Vasquez, who made a 2-D artwork named “The Dancing Bird,” won first place in the 6th-8th grade 2-D category.

They will represent the Crocker Art Museum in the state competition.

During the individuals’ ceremony at the reception, art teacher Patricia Kelly spoke about Naylor, applauding her hard work and talent. Vasquez was absent, so Kelly did not give a speech on his work.

Kelly said that she couldn’t praise Naylor enough.

“She is such an exceptional artist,” Kelly said.

Naylor said she was extremely honored to be featured in an exhibition.

“It’s a great experience, and good for college, too,” Naylor said.

A plaque next to Naylor’s painting describes the process of painting “The Swimmer.” She began by sketching on newsprint and then transferring the sketch onto watercolor paper. She painted the water first, then the body, and lastly the rest of the pool.

Héloïse Schep
Sophomore Sophie Naylor’s painting, “The Swimmer,” won first place in the 9th-12th grade painting category and will move on to the state competition.

Naylor said her greatest challenge was creating the details in the water and making her painting as life-like as possible.

Vasquez created his piece by cutting out the silhouette of a bird from chipboard and decorating it with scraps of paper, which he cut out to fit the shape of the bird. He then glued the collaged bird to a background he created with printing ink.  Lastly, he added feathers to add texture. He chose the feathers based on his favorite shaved ice flavors.

After the ceremony, guests walked around the exhibition, listening to the music provided by the SCDS high-school jazz band.

Kelly said that the California Art Education Association has not been able to find musicians for many of the events they sponsor.

“They were looking for a group (to play music), and I knew we had a great jazz band,” Kelly said.

“I contacted (band director) Bob Ratcliff, and (he) immediately said yes.”

Ratcliff said that jazz band musicians chose their own pieces for the ceremony.

“The book we use in the jazz band elective has about 40 songs in it,” Ratcliff said.

“They can all be arranged in different ways, so the students pick the songs they want to play and arrange them themselves.

“They decide who will do solos, who is going to do background music and how to organize the music.”

Sophomores  Alex Rogawski and Heidi Johnson, juniors Lily Brown, Annya Dahmani and Katia Dahmani and senior Fred Xu practiced for a week and had three rehearsals.

Ratcliff said many students have been taught since middle school how to arrange pieces by themselves.

By Héloïse Schep

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