Invitational showcases art at BC

Mitchelle De Leon, Reporter

On Feb. 6, Bakersfield College’s Jones Gallery opened this year’s Panorama Invitational with a reception that featured artwork by high school juniors and seniors from all over Kern County. 

According to gallery curator Margaret Nowling, this year’s Panorama Invitational showcased the most artwork since the annual exhibit began nine years ago.

Nowling believed that displaying the students’ work in the gallery benefited them.

“A lot of times when a student makes a work of art, they do it in the classroom, and it just goes home, but nobody sees it but them and their family and the other students in the classroom,” she said. “This way their peers get to see it from other schools and they also get to see the works that are being done by other artists in their age group so they can be inspired and challenged by them.”

The students used different mediums and inspirations for their artworks.

North High School junior Tateanna Marhx used her artwork to represent a fictional plot.

She created “Vampire King” in charcoal. She described it as about “a king who wants to be immortal so that he can take over a whole entire kingdom, and so he makes a sort of potion to make himself immortal, which turns out to be successful.”

Independence High School junior Donaldo Mendivil drew inspiration from his own culture.

On his artwork titled “Crocodile Boot,” he said, “I just drew this because I like to dress up like a cowboy, and it’s a way to show my Mexican culture.”

Some students based their creations on people that influenced them. Centennial High School junior Joshua Perez based his artwork on a public figure.

He chose to create a portrait of John Lennon in ballpoint because, to him, the musician was an inspiration.

“I find my solace in music, especially that from John Lennon,” he said.

Other students, like Stockdale High School senior Kaylee Rundle, created their artworks based on people they personally knew. Rundle created a portrait of her great grandmother in ink.

“It’s my first year to be in advanced art, and having my work shown is a really cool feeling,” she said.

Marhx, who called her own style “sort of different,” shared the sentiment.

“It really means a lot because it’s my first time,” she said. “I like for people to be inspired by other people’s art.”

Garces High School art teacher Mark Brown had five of his students showcasing their artwork.

He said that he was proud of them and added, “I don’t know if I taught them a lot of this stuff, but they have a lot of creativity.”

BC students also attended the reception. Gabriela Fernandez, chemistry major, admired an artwork titled “Drowning in My Mistakes” by Mira Monte High School student Erica Sanchez.

“I like what it says about letting go of our mistakes and moving forward,” she said.

The Panorama Invitational 2013 exhibit runs from Feb. 6-27 at the Jones Gallery, located inside the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library.