Time Capsule Tuesday: City of Industry 60th Anniversary Art Contest High School Submissions, Part Two

by Paul R. Spitzzeri

Students from John A. Rowland High School in Rowland Heights submitted a dozen entries for the City of Industry 60th Anniversary art contest, with the theme of depicting the city in 2057, forty years from now and which will be the city’s centennial. While three were selected by Rowland Unified School District officials as the best from the school, nine others were put forward.  This post looks at five of them.

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As would be expected, the works varied greatly in terms of medium and depictions, including some that are more literal and others figurative.  For example, the one above is a drawing with very geometric elements, some structures that are future-oriented and somewhat literal, but with background components that appear to be more decorative or ornamental, unless they have something to do with future transport.

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The second example is very much metaphorical and a critique on how much transportation is unlikely to change in the future, if the flying pig is being interpreted correctly, that is!  Note the pipe coming out of the narrow, hipped roof structure and marked “Transportation,” while the terms “Dream” and “Fly” are behind a pipe that leads into the building.

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For the third work, a darkened worker carrying a case looks at a highly futuristic cityscape with unusual structures, curved walks, striking colors and other interesting elements.  It seems to this observer as if the person is staring at an uncertain, but dramatically different future forty years from now.

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Next, is a piece that also is somewhat impressionistic or, at least, is very open to interpretation.  I’m not sure what to make of the work, which is hardly a criticism, though I can see an eye, a disapproving woman with a yellow hat, a dog (?) reacting viscerally to something, a wanted poster, and a pile of debris (trash, perhaps) in the corner.  Sometimes art is designed to not be taken literally, but to allow the viewer to use their imagination to construct their own meaning.  Might this be a critique of what industrialization could be like in forty years that poses problems for the future city?

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Finally, there is an entry that shows tall apartment buildings, vehicles on a near-circular road, trees and other landscape and symbols that look to be a hat, a purse and perhaps a shoe.  Again, what a viewer takes from a piece of art depends very much on what they bring to it in terms of experiences, perspectives and imagination.

These submissions did not have students’ names with them when submitted digitally, but thanks to them for putting the time to express themselves with their impressions on what the City of Industry might be like four decades from now.

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