STATEBOUND: Three artists qualify for next level in VASE

Statebound sculpture–Senior Aliyah Anchondo advanced to state with her sculpture Life Support.

  Three students qualified for state in the Visual Arts Scholastic Event in April 29-30: senior Aliyah Anchondo, junior Kevin Ronquillo and freshman Peyton Casey. The contest was held virtually for the second year through the VASE website due to the pandemic. 

  Art teacher Brice Autry said by being judged virtually affected the students’ experience. 

  “It definitely affects them because if the judge can’t see the piece in person, and they’re just looking at it on a photograph, there’s a lot of things the judges can’t see,” Autry said. “Some students don’t write that well; they are better at speaking, so it’s nice to be in the interview because the judge can understand better than when they write it.”

 Anchondo’s entry, Life Support, is a sculpture with the head made of clay with wires around the head and nose leading to a cellphone.

  “The message that I want to give through my art is that people think they need technology to be able to live,” Anchondo said. “It’s actually the thing that is killing them. People depend on their phones because they use them as an escape from the real world.”

Casey’s charcoal drawing Can’t Breathe is a self-portrait with a cloth covering her head.

  “With my art piece, I want to let everyone know about the pressure that society puts on people nowadays,” Casey said. “We see that as a normal thing when it shouldn’t be. I want people to know that they are not alone. My motivation was to inspire other people and help other people through my art.” 

  Ronquillo, who also qualified for state his freshman year, produced a drawing called Sour Sight depicting himself as black and white with colored items coming out of his glasses.

  “The most difficult thing that I had to do was use colored pencils because I had never done realistic drawing using colored pencils,” Ronquillo said. “Every year, I want to better myself and make my pieces as realistic as possible. I made so much improvement from my freshman year to my junior year.”

  These three artists hope to get gold seals at state and be exhibited on the state website.