Hart High School students displayed their work at the school’s annual art show this week, culminating up to a year of work in art classes.
The gallery, which was organized by Hart High art teacher Mary Ann Fragodt, featured a variety of student artwork selected by teachers from both the beginning and advanced two-dimensional art classes at the school.
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“It’s a once-a-year opportunity to showcase their work and what we call ‘the best of the best,’” Fragodt said. “What we highlight at the art show is the CTE students, which is Career Technical Education, and we have a CTE program in the visual arts here at Hart… These are students who are generally interested in going into a career in the visual arts.”
Kayla Johnson, a graduating senior and CTE student, had several pieces in the gallery this year, including a vivid drawing of a flamenco dancer and several oil pastel portraits.
“The main piece that I had this year for the art show is a flamenco dancer, and to go with that we also incorporated Spanish-themed music to kind of set the mood,” she said. “My family has a huge influence in my artwork. I don’t think I would have been able to be here today without the support of my family, and of course Mrs. Fragodt.”
Johnson, who plans to open her own art cafe someday, has been working on the piece on and off since August of last year, and has only been drawing for about four years.
She was inspired to learn when she took Fragodt’s art class her freshman year at Hart, and moved into other areas of art, like watercolor painting and acrylics, from there.
Another CTE student and graduating senior who took part in the show was Steven Zavala, who showcased several colored pencil and marker drawings and two digital pieces, including a portrait of himself with characters that he created.
“It was a little bit different than what I did in the past years,” he said. “This year, I wanted to do something more original. I wanted to create my own story because I plan to use these characters and places I have created and make them into a graphic novel.”
Zavala, who has been drawing since elementary school and spent four days to a month on each of his pieces, described his work as “character concept sheets” that strived to tell the stories of the characters he created.
Hart High’s art program received a designation of Exemplary Art Program from the California Department of Education, along with their Distinguished School award, in 2013, district officials said.
Senior Bailey James was given permission to create an original logo for the school’s designation, which is currently displayed in the gallery as well as at the front of the school by the administration building, Fragodt said.
Department officials decided to implement the logo state-wide for the program and requested Hart High create new logos for several other exemplary programs as well.
“It’s an incredible honor to be selected as one of the top visual and performing arts schools,” Fragodt said. “The success of our program is due to the support from the administration, especially Principal Collyn Nielsen and Assistant Principal Melanie Hagman, who is in charge of the program here at Hart. They’ve both been very supportive.”
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