Artists Gogh for the Prize

Junior Zoe Zhang has not only been recognized as a talented painter but also as a potter. She is currently enrolled in both AP Art Portfolio and Ceramics.

Julia Kim, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Requiring every ounce of concentration for each articulate stroke, it is no easy feat to produce a piece demonstrating artistic talent, meaning and enduring relevance. For several students who have qualified as nominees for Orange County Register’s Artist of the Year award, their works serve as a testament to their dedication in the arts.

Art teacher Kearci Moir and video production teacher Tina Murphy nominated juniors Jordan Lee for photography, Zoe Zhang and Paris Zhuang for hand drawing and painting, Cathy Li and Karen Fan for digital drawing and painting, Alexandra Teats for graphic design and Stephanie Tang for cinematography.

“They [OC Register staff] are looking for not only talent, but heart, drive, how they serve the community with the work and what they want to communicate with their work,” Moir said. “These students have been moving away from what they’re inspired by and making it into their own. So they’re not using their inspiration as a crutch and saying ‘I’m just gonna copy this,’ but rather ‘I’m going to take what I like about this artist and make it my own.’”

The annual Orange County’s high school artist of the year award received a total of 507 nominees in the following categories: theater, dance, film, vocal music, instrumental music, 2-D visual arts and 3-D visual arts, according to the OC Register.

“I’m honored to be recognized as a nominee, and I have learned a lot from other nominees’ works,” Zhang said. “I’ll keep absorbing knowledge from different fields of art and create my own interpretations.”

Following their nominations, students are required to submit a portfolio and an application, answering questions about their work as artists. Through this process, artists have been given the opportunity to express their skills and passions as a hobby or even as a possible profession.

“As I developed skills from multiple courses over the years, I learned to analyze the color theory, typography and layout of a piece,” Teats said. “In the future, I hope to become a communication-based graphic designer. It is a career that combines both my love for art and business while making a positive impact on society.”

Semifinalists will be updated on the OC Register website every Sunday starting from March 31, and the top Artist of the Year will be announced on April 21.