Olivia ’13 was awarded second place and an honorable mention in the Volunteers of America Los Angeles’ Skid Row Mural contest last November. The contest, which was open to students attending LA-area high schools, allowed young artists to submit design ideas for murals to decorate community buildings in Downtown and Skid Row. Olivia, who was introduced to the contest by Visual Arts instructor Kathy Rea, created scaled-down drawings for two murals that would decorate a community garden and a health center.
Although she has submitted her artwork to other competitions such as the Scholastic Art Awards, VOALA’s mural contest was her first experience combining art and community service.
“I really was interested in it because I wanted to do something for the community to promote the arts, which is what I’m about,” she said.
At Marlborough, Olivia is currently enrolled in Portfolio in Drawing and Painting and is preparing to take AP Studio Art next year. She also sharpens her artistic skills in areas like oil painting and figure drawing at classes at Ryman Arts and Brentwood Art Center.
Rea said that Olivia has greatly developed as an artist since 9th Grade Foundations in Drawing and Painting. She also said that Olivia has become more willing to take risks and add her own creative touches to her pieces. When assigned to create a self-portrait for Advanced Drawing and Painting last year, Olivia made a unique three-dimensional piece by painting her facial features on layers of Plexiglas.
“It was a great conceptual piece,” Rea said. “I think she has grown in her confidence, which is wonderful to see.”
Olivia said she finds artistic inspiration in a variety of sources. She compiles hundreds of images from the Internet and from her own photos in a file on her computer that she uses to fuel ideas for future works of art.
“[Sometimes] I’ll just spend an hour going through all of them,” she said.
This summer, Olivia will continue working on pieces for her AP Studio Art portfolio. She also plans on traveling to New York City for an unpaid internship with an art dealer.