Coronado High School’s (CHS) numerous art classes provide many talented visual artists a nurturing space to thrive. AP Portfolio Art is one of these classes and its students are full of creativity and skill. These young artists have been working tirelessly on a brand new piece that was unveiled on June 6th, which was a treat to the artists as the rest of the school is able to see their creation.
This artwork is one of four permanent installations to be seen on the high school campus. The AP artists that worked on the project are: Stella Perez, Leah Schrum, Santi Rivero, Stephen Smith, Eva Serdio, Isa Solloa, Kate Perley, Abi Bjorklund, Dean Richards, and Anisa Ruiz. While our photo doesn’t do justice to the scale of the piece, it is an eight by ten foot collage style painting.
“The piece is meaningful to me because it is part of a bigger project. Having all of my peers work on something so big and so beautiful was a positive experience for me,” says Dean Richards, junior AP Portfolio artist. Richards also added how his technical art skills have greatly improved during this creative process.
The 4×4, 16-panel piece takes inspiration from classic surf art and the Coronado aesthetic with its red VW bus, warm colors, and seemingly swaying palm trees. It is officially titled “Aloha,” and students and faculty can view it in the CHS library, where it will remain.
This installation is a sentimental one because it was dedicated to a person near and dear to the Class of 2023’s hearts. She has been with some of the senior artists since their time at Coronado Middle School and continues making the high school a positive place. “Aloha” is dedicated to the fearless leader and principal of CHS, Ms. Karin Mellina.
Before the official unveiling, the lead senior artists on this project gave touching speeches on how Ms. Mellina has impacted their individual experience at Coronado High. “As artists especially, inherently emotional and often outcasts, many of us have struggled in one way or another. Ms. Mellina has always been a kind face in the hallways or a shoulder to cry on in her office. No matter who you are at CHS, you have most definitely felt the positive impact of Ms. Mellina’s presence,” says Stella Perez, senior AP Portfolio artist.
Class of 2023 Gets Boost for End-of-Year Activities
The Class of 2023 hasn’t had a very normal high school experience. With COVID-19 curtailing the end of their freshman year and messing with their sophomore year, it caused a major disruption in fundraising possibilities. The seniors weren’t going to have the same end-of-year experiences that past graduating classes had. Unless they decided to price tickets, for events like GradNite, significantly more expensive, the class was going to miss out entirely. But a local family with a class of ’23 senior stepped in with a very generous donation to help make sure the seniors get a proper send-off from high school. So, in addition to Ms. Mellina, the Campbell family was also honored at the June 6 event. The Campbell Family plaque will now hang on the campus “Wall of Giving.” The plaque is a sign of immense gratitude from the seniors for the Campbell family’s generosity.
The unveiling was a school-wide event that occurred from 2 to 3 pm in the CHS Library. Students, staff, and the artists celebrated with food and drink.
Perez commented on what the unveiling experience meant for her. “Unveiling the piece was a wonderful experience. The look on Ms. Mellina’s face, being surrounded and applauded by my peers, and the knowledge that I made a lasting contribution to a school I love so much made the hard work worth it all! It warms my heart to know that I am leaving my mark on CHS and I am beyond thankful that so many people came out to support the unveiling!”
Additionally, guests were entertained with music by the band Turtlefin, comprised of three graduating CHS seniors: Sam Jennings, Jake Lyons, and Sean Campbell.
Overall, it was a fantastic and fun event to celebrate the hard work the students put into their art. We look forward to seeing the next three art installations.