Hundreds attend the 16th Annual High School Art Invitational at CSUN

Hundreds attend the 16th Annual High School Art Invitational at CSUN

Daisy Pineda Ramirez


The 16th Annual High School Art Invitational included artwork from over 35 high schools in the San Fernando Valley. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Daily Sundial

The reception of the 16th Annual High School Art Invitational held Friday was full of art enthusiasts and entertainment.

More than 35 high schools in the San Fernando Valley participated in the event.

More than 500 people were in attendance. Among the attendees were CSUN faculty from the art department, who have been supporting the event by giving aspiring artists the opportunity to share their talents with the community.

“We try to encourage the local high schools’ art programs to participate, and everyone has been enthusiastic. The bottom line is (that it is) great for the students, and it’s also a great way for us to showcase what the students are doing in the San Fernando Valley,” said Kenneth Sakatani, chair of the art department. “It’s a great venue for them.”

Sakatani added the invitational may bring students to attend CSUN.

“Some of them have come to our department (and) to CSUN, so it’s just a great way to showcase their work but also give them an opportunity to give them to say, ‘Hey, maybe I want to be an art major and go on to college,” Sakatani said.

Many of the student artists observed the other participating schools’ artwork as well as fellow schoolmates, parents, teachers, CSUN students and the event’s organizers.

The classmates of the participating artists said they enjoyed the different forms of art and the unique usage of different mediums.

Some students said it inspired them to take art classes to get in touch with their inner-artist. Each artist was able to share the meaning of their art piece and their inspiration with everyone who was present.

Brandon Steadman, 16, a junior at Faith Baptist High School, is one of the many participants in the event. His art piece was called “The Triangle.”

Steadman said the
inspiration for his design was another artist who uses various shapes and an array colors on his artwork, although Steadman himself cannot see the colors green or red.

“I was happy to be one of the students selected for this event,” Steadman said.

His parents said they were very excited and proud to see his art in a gallery along other talented students.

Students were not the only ones displaying their work, as their teachers also had the opportunity to display their artistic skills.

Kristi Butterworth, a teacher from Milken Community High School, was one of the teachers who participated in the event and was excited for her students’ recognition.

Butterworth, who teaches architecture, was asked to submit an art piece. She selected a photograph of the foyer of the historic Eastern Building in downtown Los Angeles.

“I’m proud and thrilled that (the students) are able to show their art work to other people and have the opportunity to be recognized,” Butterworth said.

The atmosphere was upbeat with the participation of the group Masanga, whose South African and Latin American infusion of music had the audience dancing and served as a great backdrop for the exhibit.