Tenth Imperial High School Art Show Celebrates “A Blast from the Past”

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Stetson McCoy, Karina Anaya, Kris Naylor, and Stephanie Valdez playfully pretend a large yellow Ford Fairlane is their car for the evening during the ’50s and ’60s-themed Imperial High School Art Show.

IMPERIAL — Under peaked white tents in the open quad, Imperial High School Art Department, led by computer graphics instructor, Kathy Tharp, celebrated the ‘50s and ‘60s with “A Blast from the Past” in its tenth end-of-the-year art show, Wednesday night. Drawings, paintings, prints, and scratchboard from Mrs. Maria Peinado’s studio arts classes along with computer-generated art from Tharp’s classes filled the wood-framed wire displays that allowed the evening’s cool breeze to pass through.

Vintage cars and students dressed in ‘fifties styles, complete with full skirts along with others sporting Lichtenstein-painted faces, were interspersed throughout the crowd of students, parents, faculty, and staff who came out to enjoy a night of fine arts.

“I am pleased with my first year as a part of this truly awesome turnout,” said Principal Joe Apodaca. “Tiger Pride is all over the place. It is a testament of the great community that Imperial is,”  he said, praising his art and music teachers liberally.

Music Director George Scott conducted the 30-member chorus in numbers from the movie “Pitch Perfect,” followed by his 30-member advanced choir, the ladies ensemble, who performed “Disney Dazzle.”

Brooke Kofford conducted the large Imperial High jazz ensemble in a half hour of lively music. Economics instructor Megan Strahm and substitute teacher and drummer Bob Horne also sang duets of the era accompanied by “The Megan Strahm and True Blues Band.” (As a young girl, Strahm previously sang on the Old Globe outdoor stage productions in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”)

Janet Cowne, a former art instructor who established the night of arts in the quad and headed the show for eight years, juried the studio arts. Brianna Arrington placed first, winning the top cash prize for her “Boy at the Window” scratchboard composition. Second place went to Lilian Ramirez, third to Jezebel Ramirez Robles, fourth to Frida Herrera, and fifth to Juliana Rodriquez.

Aaron Popejoy of Conveyor Group, with advertising, designing and marketing in a studio at the Imperial business park off Aten Road, juried the computer graphic art. Top prize and cash winner was Luis Estrada with his typographical portrait. Second place went to Karina Anaya, and third to Leann Nguyen. Francisco Vega won fourth with Isaac Alvarez taking fifth place.

Yvonne Camacho, a multi-talented young artist, had her own acrylic paintings in the show, along with large six by five-foot walls of art which served as part of the background setups. Camacho was the main face painter for the evening, and she received honorable mentions in Studio Arts along with Andrew Espinoza, Valerie Calderon, Lilian Ramirez, Alexia Bediola, Ana Valtierra, Natasia Marquez, and Gabriela Ibarra.

Honorable mentions in Computer Graphics included Juliana Rodriquez, Paul Abatti, Andrea Garcia, Hanna Hunter, Andrew Nieblas, Amanda Kirschner, Guillermo Avalos, Stephen Prendergast, Madison Darr, and Ana Guardado.

Inside the high school art room facing the quad and open for viewing, teacher Christie Fennel displayed ceramic slab portraits created by her Frank Wright Middle School artists along with 3-D wire portrait sculptures. Fennel said joining the art show allows junior high students to become familiar with the high school as they bring friends to view their art.

A small mini-bus, reminiscent of the ‘sixties, sat outside the room with art students supervising adults and children in painting flowers and squiggles on its hood and sides. Famous Dave’s Restaurant was hired to cater the event with a hearty meal while art students sold cold drinks, popcorn, and cotton candy.

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