Written by Jose Vilchis
On Friday, January 18, California State University Northridge held its very own 22nd Annual High School Invitational, showcasing artworks from students, public and private, around the San Fernando Valley.
This particular art show includes artworks created locally by both middle and high school students. Our school, Social Justice Humanitas Academy submitted student artwork for the eighth year in a row, represented by Jeremy Ruiz, Christabel Cortez, Ashley Arguello, Rafaela Reyna, Eduard Mendoza, and Serena Covarrubias.
I was able to interview Christabel Cortez, one of the student artists selected to have her art displayed at CSUN. I asked Christabel about her personal experience attending “The 22nd Annual High School Invitational.” Christabel’s face lit up- “I loved it! It was different in comparison to when I went last year, my junior year because my art wasn’t in the show. This time around my art was in the show which was totally unexpected. Going to the art show when your art is on display is a different experience when it’s not because only you know you created it, so when you stand around the art you hear what people have to say, without them knowing it was you. So in a way it felt more honest. It truly is something to remember because I was able to go with people I care about and connect with them on a more personal level rather than strictly having a school connection.” Christabel added that [she] “ felt a sense of honor because I was not expecting my art to be on display, to me it was just another fun project Ms. Koch assigned us as she gives us a lot of freedom in the art we create. So I knew regardless I would have fun creating the project without having an end goal in mind for it to be in the art show. But once she told me that my art would be going to the show because she had teachers vote on which one they liked, I felt that people do see what I do and recognize me for it. It made me feel happy that my work was being recognized not only from students/teachers at our school but as well as people I don’t know.”
Christabel definitely recommended that people should make a point next year to attend the show because the atmosphere feels free of judgment and it's a nice way to support one another even if you don’t know them. “And who knows you can become inspired by the artwork there just like I was,” she replied.
A mixture of Chicano and Caribbean music entertained the guests outside of the building, creating a friendly and fun environment. Snacks, desserts, and drinks were laid out for people as a “thank you for spending your Friday night with us” gesture. Inside the building, the art displayed on the white walls and with the slightly dimmed lights allowed for the artwork to stand out even more. It was fascinating to walk around and see the artwork from students, from all around the Valley. There was so much talent and hard work on display, all the pieces standing out in their own unique way. It was an amazing event to attend, and if your interested in attending any of these events that CSUN holds, visit their Art Galleries website.