By: Nanki Sekhon
On January 25, 2016, some of the most talented artists from Benicia High School had the tremendous opportunity to have their work featured in the Marilyn Citron O’Rourke Art Gallery at the Benicia Public Library for a few weeks. Many different mediums were displayed in the exhibit, from acrylic paint and watercolor to sculpture and mixed media.To learn more about the students’ inspiration as well as why they decided to take up art, we had a little chat with them opening night.
One of the first featured works was a music video produced by students Anders Knut, Carson Rendell, Kevin McLarty, and Evan Bennet. The juniors, are the creators of a podcast called “The Anything Club”, a unique platform where they upload content varying from discussions about pop culture and the media to storytelling and original music. New episodes are added each month on iTunes and Soundcloud for listeners to enjoy.
The group was inspired to make a music video during their trip to a small town just outside of Los Angeles over Thanksgiving Break. After visiting one of the beaches, they decided that a coastal setting would be the perfect backdrop for a music video.The song playing over the video is a cover they did of “Little Lion Man” by Mumford and Sons. When asked about the filming process and message, Kevin went on to say that,“It was just a big game of tag and we were smiling at the end and we tried to express blatant fun and how to have a good time.” But there were some challenges involved as well. In post-production, as the group was reviewing the playback, they did not feel like their cover was that good because, as Anders expresses, “we made the music ourselves and when you listen to it three times, a lot of it is off and not in key.” Nevertheless, if you would like to see the music video or other videos by them, check them out on their social media handles at @theanythingcklubpodcast, @thecranberryproject, or @afro_evan.
One of the other highlighted works was a stunning watercolor painting by sophomore Jaina Hall. The quirky piece, made in her AP drawing class, was beautiful blend of contrasting colors, starring a lively chicken flapping its wings. “How we made the chicken is by pouring watercolor found some weird picture in it, the only thing I saw was a chicken so I inked the chicken and put acrylic overlay on it,” Jaina says. In the background, you can see other birds in the back which, “reminded me of my aunt who has chickens that fight with the pigeons.” “Crazy Chicken” was one of her favorite pieces because, she says, “I liked how happy and vibrant it is and it is a fun piece to look at.”
The last featured work was a comical storyboard designed by sophomore Ana Schwartz. “Fast Food” tells the story of a snarky 20-year-old and her daily endeavors working at a fast food chain for a living. The idea for the drawing was not hard to come by. As Ana says, she had already developed the character and, “just put it in a new storyboard that I have been working on in AP Art.” Creating art requires a lot of creativity, patience, and inspiration. Ana explains that her inspiration comes from, “what you see and what you like. Everyone says [you have to] practice and that’s exactly what you have to do, no one is born with it.” Ana will be working on a comic having to do with this character for the rest of semester. Check out “Fast Food” and the rest of her work on Instagram @papiisede.
Ms.Kleinschmidt says she feels “really proud about my students not only because it is really good work but because by looking at them you can see it is really personal to them,” expressing, “it is more than just an assignment to turn in.” She related to this display mainly because of her own experiences as a Benicia High student. “I took Ceramics which I loved and was lots of fun… but there is a difference between arts and crafts and I would be more on the crafts side.” She tells students if they want to pursue art then they should go after it. “First take a class and then decide what you want to do.”
Be sure to check out more art related classes or any other electives at the Elective Fair on February 16th.
PC: Nanki Sekhon