By Caroline Iglesias, Staff Writer
ART: A Riverside Poly student is a finalist in the 55th Annual Press Enterprise Riverside County High School Art Show.
Every year for the last 55 years, Riverside County has held a high school art show contest. Participants may submit their art pieces into the contest through a number of categories. This years categories were: Drawing, Drawing in color, Watercolor/Tempera, Acrylic/Oil, Mixed Media, Graphic, Photography, Sculpture/Three-Dimensional Design and Ceramics. To be eligible to enter, students must be in grades nine through 12 and must be enrolled in a Riverside county high school during the school year of 2016 to 2017. “I think a big part of creating art is to have it displayed, and this contest allows for that,” Poly High School’s Art Design 3-4 and Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art teacher Ms. Elizabeth Morrow said. The art pieces were exhibited from April 22, 2017 to May 19, 2017 at the Riverside Art Museum in Downtown Riverside. More than 500 entries were submitted this year, and Poly student Conner Lesch (11) was selected as a finalist.
The piece Lesch submitted into the contest is titled “A Ship’s Reflection.” The piece is notan, a Japanese design concept that involves the placement of light and dark elements next to one another. Utilizing these light and dark colors translates shape and form onto a two-dimensional surface. The entire concept of notan has to do with negative and positive space— the perfect balance of the yin and yang. The piece has several mediums: an exacto knife, glue and thick white and blue paper. To construct his piece, Lesch began by drawing an outline of a ship, adding explicit details, then cutting it out with an exacto knife. The piece is a silhouette outline of an old ship, which was made on a white paper and reflected onto a blue canvas.
Lesch has been interested in art since he was in middle school. Art is something that comes to him naturally through repetitive work. “Usually what happens is I’ll try to do something, and the more I go along in that project, whatever I’ve started, the more I can see what it can become and pursue it,” Lesch said. He was not inspired by any given thing, but rather by working through the piece and eventually finding himself in it. The artist is a part of Morrow’s AP Studio Art class, whose students were required to submit their own artwork into the contest as a graded assignment.
Lesch views art simply as a hobby. “I would like to pursue it, but I really don’t know which direction I would like to take it. I don’t know if I want to use it for architecture or graphic design; there are several things I would like to do,” Lesch said. Only time can tell what role he could play in the world of art. Whatever it may be, it is guaranteed to be breathtaking.