AQ 23rd Annual Spring Showcase: A Rainy but Still Festive Kind of Sanctuary
Even though the rain poured yet again, April 6th was a great night, as more than 1,000 people came together to celebrate the work of this year’s AQ students at the 23rd Annual AQ Spring Showcase. The lectern was decorated with colorful handmade origami flowers and silk streamers by the officers of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS), with special help from NAHS Community Service co-director, AQ VFA student, Eve Kruger. Intermediate Visual Fine Arts student, Ian Rose was recognized on stage for his winning entry for the Showcase poster image, chosen from over 100+ submissions. His piece depicts an elfin, fairy-like being with a remote control in his hand sitting in an archway in front of a blank screen TV, surrounded by lush and colorful plants. The archway was a symbol of the open space we all need to create our own sanctuaries, Ian said. He was awarded a $250 prize from AQ and Friends of AQ for his achievement. Instrumental Music director Mark Wardlaw conducted the SRHS Orchestra as they played excerpts from three pieces, ending in a rousing rendition of Danny Rocks by Richard Meyer. AQ Dance Company performed a unique contemporary piece, Shift, choreographed and directed by Nzinga Woods, and Kira Bombace directed the Chambers Singers in Chili Con Carne, a quirky song about how comfort food can also be a kind of sanctuary. All four top finalists in the SRHS Poetry Out Loud competition were AQ students this year and they each recited the poems they performed: Maya Humphreys (1st), Micayla Walker (2nd), Emma Hughes (3rd) and Halei Trowbridge (4th). Later that evening, Theatre Arts students performed scenes in the Black Box Theatre (culminating with the ever-popular Bacchae!), and time-based media from Digital Arts and Video Arts was screened to a packed crowd in the Library Computer Lab. AQ Core class projects were on display in the College and Career Center and the Multipurpose Room was packed as usual, with a long line to see works by Digital Arts, Photography and Visual Fine Arts students. In the Main Bldg. Hallway large-scale Digital Arts self-portraits were shown and multiple display cases were filled with the finalists for the Showcase poster award. Music was provided by the band, Beluga, featuring Kamrin & Tristan Matlock, and NAHS sponsored its “Sanctuary for Those who Need It Most” helping each of the eight Arts Specialties to collect donations for a charity they had chosen to support. NAHS also sponsored a hands-on Mini-Makers Art Experience Workshop table for the younger set. Friends of AQ provided the evening’s refreshments and also had a table with details and ticket information for their Speakeasy at Paradise Ridge fundraiser event coming up on May 12th. HUGE thanks go out to the Friends of ArtQuest Board and its many volunteers who helped make the event such a success. A very special thank you to John Burgess, Friends of AQ Showcase Liaison and Joanna Luthin, Friends of AQ Volunteer Coordinator, for their extra efforts in helping everything go smoothly. And many thanks to the AQ students who helped including, AQ Intermediate Video Arts students Mitchell Parks (theatre lighting and sound assistant) and Connor Murray (backstage tech) and AQ Intermediate Theatre Arts students Max Bolke-Slater, Kat Motley, anad Joaquin Vera (also backstage techs).
Lights, Camera, Action for AQ Video Arts in Film Festivals This Season!
AQ Video Arts students have had several short films accepted into film festivals this Spring. All films were inspired by this year's focus on Sanctuary. The 2017 Sonoma County 5 Minute Film Festival selected 15 films out of 120 submissions and two out of the five selected in the high school division were from AQ: "We Love You No Matter What", was created by Andy Huey and Evan Mason-White and combines beautiful imagery of SRHS students and staff with the powerful spoken word poetry of Will Lyon, SRHS English teacher which was created shortly after the 2016 election. "We Have the Light", also by Evan Mason-White depicts a quest for love among the ruins of a modern cityscape. It stars our own Edge Weaver and Hannah Stabler. The Sonoma County Student Film Festival accepted "Whereabouts", created by Andy Huey, Griffin Malone and Connor Macheras. This lyrical adventure into nature takes viewers along on a young boy's search for sanctuary and companionship. Screened earlier in the year at the Windsor International Film Festival in January was “7:05 am”, a film by Jimmy Delara that explores joy and tragedy involving the closest of friends, starring students Charlotte Stokeld and Caroline Dawn. “Obviously, I'm super proud of what these amazing filmmakers have achieved,” says Mr. Anderson, AQ Video Arts instructor. “These films are just a sample of the work AQ Video Arts students have created this year. I hope to send more great news as other film festivals announce the acceptance and winners!”
We’ll certainly look forward to hearing about more awards and success!
Last Chance This School Year to Catch AQ and SRHS Performing Arts !
It’s almost a wrap, but you still have the opportunity to see a few performances before school ends for the year. The first weekend in May continues the AQ Advanced Theatre Arts performances in the Black Box, directed by Vicki Carpenter. “The Tempest” will be performed on Thurs. and Fri., May 4 and 5 at 7:00 pm. Thursday, May 11th is the Instrumental Music Spring Concert, beginning at 7:00 pm in the SRHS Auditorium. All Instrumental Music groups will be featured and directed by Mark Wardlaw. AQ Dance Company, the Advanced level of AQ Dance, will perform their final concert on Fri. and Sat., May 19 & 20, also at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium. Also that weekend, AQ Intermediate Theatre Arts will perform on Fri. and Sat., May 19 and 20, at 7:00pm and on Sun., May 21, at 2:00 pm in the Black Box, directed by Sheri Miller. Check the SRHS website or the AQ Office 707-535-4842 for specific dates, times and other updated information if needed. Tickets are generally available at the door. Contact the teachers of each Arts Specialty for more details or updates: Ms. Carpenter for Advanced Theatre Arts (email@example.com), Mr. Wardlaw for Instrumental Music (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ms. Woods for Dance (email@example.com) or Ms. Miller for Intermediate Theatre Arts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
AQ Student Clinches Scholastic Art & Writing Competition National Silver Medal
Congratulations to Niko Johnson, AP Studio Art and Digital Arts student, who was recently announced as a National Silver Medal award winner in the Scholastic Arts Award competition. Only 2,740 medals were awarded for 2017 at the national level. National Scholastic’s “Alliance for Young Artists & Writers” identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and skill and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through this program. Begun in1923, it is the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S. Noteworthy past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, John Updike and others. See the March issue of the Panther Purr for a complete listing of the ArtQuest students who garnered awards in various categories this year. Congratulations to Niko and all the 2017 AQ awardees!
AQ Alumna Maria de los Angles Featured in North Bay Bohemian & on Cover
Maria de los Angeles, who was part of AQ Visual Fine Arts during high school at SRHS, was a strong presence in the March 8th issue of the North Bay Bohemian. Ms. De los Angeles appeared on the issue’s cover in an amazing red dress of her own creation that mingled visual art with political commentary. In her article inside, “A Dreamer’s Diary: My Journey from Mexico into Trump’s Immigration Dragnet”, she described being brought to the United States as a young child and her challenging educational and artistic journey from there. After graduating from high school, Ms. De los Angeles studied at SRJC and then went on to earn her Bachelor’s of Fine Art degree at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. While at Pratt, she began a nonprofit program called One City Arts that provides arts education to children from low-income backgrounds and is now a permanent program in Santa Rosa at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. She continued to Yale University, where she earned her Master’s of Fine Art in painting. Her fashion line addresses identity through wearable works, particularly her identity as a “Dreamer”, which is central to her life and work. De los Angeles writes candidly about her experiences and is critical of many of the US’s current national policies. She says that a central issue Dreamers face is their identity and the accompanying internalized racism and oppression. “For me, those things are imposed on the body,” she explains. Her wearable couture sculptures help free her from the internalized oppression of “illegality”. She knows there are personal dangers in openly sharing her story but says that the combination of darkness and beauty she sees all around her is important to express and goes into creating the garments she is currently making. “There is such darkness now,” Ms. De los Angles says. “We need something beautiful.” Best wishes to Maria on her continued journey and congratulations on her significant accomplishments as an artist.