by Paul R. Spitzzeri
In addition to Christina Kuo, winner of the high school division of the City of Industry 60th Anniversary Art Contest, there were eighteen other submissions in the category. The next three posts will highlight these entries, a half dozen at a time. As noted in earlier posts, the theme was what the City could look like forty years from now, in 2057, when it celebrates its centennial.
Rowland High School had fifteen students send in their works for consideration in the contest and three were selected by the Rowland Unified School District as the contenders for the best work of art at the high school level.
Emily Tseng, who will begin her junior year, contributed a very colorful and, to this observer, impressionistic work that is full of vibrant colors and forms and has interesting suggestive elements. For example, a tree, a slice of pizza, and a ray of purple with fruit in it are discernible, but their place in the work appear to be more metaphorical than literal. There are vehicles and what may be a tunnel that look to indicate future transportation; a cascade of water pours down from an orb; and structures look highly futuristic. Often art doesn’t have to be representative or pictorial, it can be induce vague impressions, emotions or states of mind. Emily’s interesting work seems to be very much the latter.
By contrast, Ashley Abeleda, a junior last year, presented a very literal, minimal and striking evocation of how the city’s infrastructure could look decades from now, especially with the use of solar power. Ashley’s work shows a bullet train and train station, a “medhub” or hospital, city hall, and a business complex, with the structures all utilizing solar power. Notice, though, the caption at the center that reads “Welcome to Our City in the Sky / City of Industry,” which suggests a far more vertical rendering of the City than what exists today!
Shumin Zhen, another Rowland junior, chose a particular part of the City to focus upon–this being the intersection of Azusa and Gale avenues just north of the 60 Freeway. Note that, while the Pomona Freeway still has vehicles traveling on it, there are also bike lanes at its side and an electric mass transit system elevated above its lanes. At the southwest corner of the two thoroughfares, where there is now a Walmart, a soccer field is situated. A multi-story parking structure, presumably for commuters using the mass transit system as well as for those working nearby, is across Gale. Basketball and tennis courts indicate a desire for more recreational facilities in the area. Structures (one featuring a helipad) are multi-story, which may be a nod to space saving in an increasingly crowded urban environment.
As for submissions from other schools, Itamar Gonzalez, a freshman from Bassett High School in unincorporated county community west of La Puente and the district of that name, created a fascinating visual metaphor of a city on the body of a dolphin. Many indigenous peoples around the world believe that the earth was in the form of some animal, such as a turtle or others. Itamar’s work seems to take in that perspective. An abundance of plant life, including finely drawn trees with thick canopies shade and shelter the densely packed city environment, also rich with detail. In fact, it is apparent that Itamar spent considerable time in crafting this piece of art.
Audrey Arias, who graduated from Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights, chose to depict a specific pictorial reference to the City of Industry of the future–a city employee robot. Wearing a sharp blue blazer with the city logo on it and standing with what looks to be an old-fashioned pencil and paper (though it could be a retro-looking stylus and tablet!), the robot stands near a sign with the city logo and a two-story structure surrounded by some superbly-rendered trees. Audrey is certainly right that robots will be doing a lot of the work people now do!
Finally, there is the contribution of La Puente High School’s Noah Offield. Noah, who is entering his senior year, looks to have selected the railroad overpass that marks entry into the City of Industry Civic Center for his locale. A couple stands at the side of what would be Hacienda Boulevard and takes a selfie using an iPhone 57 (get it?) while two very futuristic vehicles (hovercraft, maybe?) speed by (check out the flames pouring out of the nearest one). The depiction of the people are especially impressive to this viewer.
All six of these talented high school students from local schools deserve kudos for their excellent works of art. Meanwhile, because Rowland High had so many others who sent in works, the next two posts will focus on those entries, so check back next Tuesday for more.