AP Art Students Win ‘Exposed Art & Literature Contest’ in Visual Arts

Ryen Hernandez

More stories from Ryen Hernandez

Yorba Linda Public Library held its annual Exposed Art & Literature Contest and many AP art students submitted entries. Entries were due on, Nov. 8, 2018. Opening up the contest to all schools in the area, many teenagers in grades seven through twelve entered in the contest. The art contest was designed for teens to express their visions and ideas through art and literature. In the area of Drawing and Literature Painting, Esperanza students won first, second, third, and Honorable Mention.

Yorba Linda Library held their 10th Anniversary Awards Ceremony at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library where the artwork was hung for two weeks. The theme of the contest was ‘Out of Focus’  and each student wrote a hundred-word statement of how their creative vision was interpreted.

First, the artists had to think of an idea behind the pieces that they were making. Every artist came up with a different way to take the theme and turn it into their artwork. The artists got inspired their own connections to the theme and made their artwork personal to themselves.

Senior Isabella Svensson was personally inspired by the prompt and made her artwork based on something that she feels and deals with every day, ADHD. Svensson feels very strongly on this subject and worked it into her artwork.

“To me, “Out of Focus” is a good descriptor of life with ADHD, because it’s a disorder that makes simple tasks become really hard to focus on. It’s something I feel very strongly about because many people often dismiss ADHD as an excuse, when in fact, it is an actual disorder that tons of people have to struggle with on a daily basis and is anything but an excuse,” said Svensson.

On the other hand, senior Naomi Stokes admits that her story behind her inspiration for her artwork is not very exciting. She admits that the idea just popped in her head.

“The inspiration behind my piece came to me over the summer one morning when I was tired. I thought a portrait that was done with splatter paint would be very interesting and I could only picture that style with my friend Anthony’s face, so that’s when I did,” said Stokes.

Using the theme in their artwork, each piece turned out completely different. Using their own inspiration, each artist created their own artwork.

“I incorporated the theme of the contest into my artwork literally by creating a background in photoshop that looked like words and ideas becoming glitched and therefore “Out of Focus.” I incorporated it figuratively through the meaning behind the piece about how ADHD can make it nearly impossible at times for me to focus on even the most simple of tasks,” said Svensson.

Stokes is a regular at art competitions. She has entered a lot of her artwork into competitions. Stokes also succeeded in a goal of hers, winning. Using only acrylic paint, Stokes created “Anthony”, which won first place in the contest.

“Whenever I enter a contest, I hope to win. For me contests are normally a hit or miss, I get first or I don’t place at all. I don’t know why it’s that way, but that’s how it’s always been for me. I don’t know if that sounds bad or egotistical, but I truly like to challenge myself and see if people like my art,” said senior Naomi Stokes.

Before the awards ceremony, Svensson didn’t expect to win anything. She was just hoping that the judges would hopefully understand the inspiration behind her artwork. Winning honorable mention, Svensson was extremely surprised and grateful for her award. Stokes, as well, was not expecting to win. When two other  AP art students were called as third and second place, Stokes was almost sure that she didn’t win.

“I was in shock! I did not expect it at all. When Ilsa Bauer won third and then Shannon Magnin won second, I was almost sure I didn’t win. I don’t know why but I just didn’t expect it at all,” said Stokes.

“I really didn’t expect to win anything going into this contest, so when they called my name for honorable mention at the awards ceremony, I was really surprised. I’m proud of the fact that I was actually able to receive honorable mention, and I’m even more so appreciative of the fact that the judges were able to see what this piece meant to me as well as understand my message behind the visuals,” said Svensson.