Unique and imaginative creations, ranging from sculptures, graphic designs, paintings, and chalk art—all produced by Whittier College students—were showcased during the 2019 end-of-the-year student art exhibit.
Presented in the Greenleaf Art Gallery and Wardman Gym, the exhibit highlighted the accomplishments of the Whittier students who submitted their work to be judged by a professional artist. Three cash prize winners were selected in addition to one Presidential Cash Prize, in which President Linda Oubré personally purchased a piece to display on campus.
First place went to Priscila Jimenez ’19, whose striking painting, El Corazón, depicts scenes illustrating East Los Angeles living. Jimenez, who majored in art and Spanish, was inspired by Instagram influencers and the Latinx community of Los Angeles. “I didn’t expect to win first prize,” said Jimenez. “I can sometimes be hard on myself, but it was really nice to see that other people really appreciated my work.”
Second place went to Hallie Lee ’19 for Small Art, which is made up 63 small paintings arranged in a large grid. Each painting portrays images of racial stereotypes and caricatures. Third place went to Gabriella Rodriguez ’21 for her painting, Codes. According to Rodriguez, the painting includes themes of a blurred self-identity, technology, and different alternative realities that can be experienced.
The Presidential Cash Prize went to Moe Orellano ’19 for her two black-and-white chalk drawings titled Aperture: The Camp. The drawings show two girls sitting on a bench with their backs to the audience, with one image focusing on the girls alone and the other placing them behind a chain-link fence. Orellano’s drawings will be displayed on campus, joining a collection of student art work that is a permanent collection of the College. “My goal through the two drawings, was to present two stories stemming from the same source image. I want to draw attention to how our perception can be altered in a number of ways and how we can fall prey to conjecture,” said Orellano.
Past winners of the Presidential Cash Prize can be found in Wardman Library and the Science & Learning Center.