Bulldog-made Art Receives Spotlight in City of Irvine Art Gallery

Senior+Mia+Zappala%E2%80%99s+painting+titled+%E2%80%9CParasocial+was+one+of+six+art+pieces+selected+to+receive+recognition+at+the+Irvine+Fine+Arts+Center+Gallery.+%E2%80%9CIts+about+how+a+lot+of+teens+these+days+use+parasocial+relationships+with+people+online+or+influencers+to+cope+with+their+own+relationships+in+real+life+and+how+that+can+be+very+unhealthy%2C%E2%80%9D+Zappala+said

Courtesy of Mia Zappala

Senior Mia Zappala’s painting titled “Parasocial” was one of six art pieces selected to receive recognition at the Irvine Fine Arts Center Gallery. “It’s about how a lot of teens these days use parasocial relationships with people online or influencers to cope with their own relationships in real life and how that can be very unhealthy,” Zappala said

The Irvine Fine Arts Center is open to the public to view high school student-made art displayed at Irvine City Hall. Paintings, drawings, photographs, graphic design and mixed media are featured in the gallery from March 14 to July 15. In the in-person gallery, five students in AP Studio Art and Advanced Portfolio Prep had their work selected: senior Mia Zapalla, senior Elyse Dudley, 

Students submitted their art pieces to the Irvine Fine Arts Center to be judged for the opportunity to be displayed in the gallery, according to senior Mia Zappala. 

“It was definitely really cool having my work selected because I had one piece selected last year, but they only did an online gallery because of COVID,” Zappala said. “I went to go visit it, and having people see it in real life and hearing people comment on it and say how good it is without knowing that the person who made it is standing right next to them is really cool. I think I learned to be a lot more confident about the art I make and that even though it’s not my favorite piece, it could be someone else’s favorite piece.”

Artists had unique strategies when it came to selecting pieces to be chosen. Junior Nora Tang, whose work was selected for the online gallery, considered aspects in relation to movement and harmony in her untitled self portrait. 

I think I learned to be a lot more confident about the art I make and that even though it’s not my favorite piece, it could be someone else’s favorite piece.”

— Mia Zappala

“It’s in watercolor, so I was trying to emphasize the movement of water and life in that piece,” Tang said. “I was trying to convey a tone with all the colors I was using, which were all cool colors. Other people are also seeing value in my work, and my hard work paid off.”

Moir said she believes the exhibit is beneficial to students, as she experienced being featured in the same gallery. 

“I went to Woodbridge High, and I had my work in this show when I was in high school, and it was such a big deal to me when I was their age, so to now be the facilitator of that and get to see them have that same exact excitement that I had is really special to me,” Moir said.