Meena Senapathi could barely contain her excitement. When asked if she was familiar with the work of photographer and artist Cindy Sherman, known for her self-portraits that explore identity, gender and consumerism, the 17-year-old raised her hands and smiled the most Big smile.

“Yeah! I LOVE it.”

The question came from Andrew Shalat, a graphic design professor at Chapman University.

Senapathi, a junior at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine, ended up being named Computer Visual Arts Artist of the Year.

His own photography included an after-hours snapshot of a donut shop intended to evoke the investment Asian American families often make in this business, and a blue-toned portrait of a teenager named ” After the Party is Over”, as the drug-enhanced euphoria of escapism for many young people fades.

“I feel like a very deep observer,” Senapathi said.

“I get that feeling,” Shalat replied.

There was also the delightfully pink image of a young woman’s hand, sporting fingernails painted black, hovering above cosmetics, flowers and other feminine imagery, including an iconic Princess phone from it. decades ago.

Titled “Pretty in Pink,” the photo, Senapathi said, is intended to show that “loving feminine things doesn’t make you empty-headed, doesn’t make you inferior to someone else.”

And she hated the color pink.

Senapathi wants to study photography at university. She would love to teach high school photography, calling it “my absolute dream.”

Often, she says, “kids don’t have a strong support system to pursue the arts. Their talent in the art is taken for granted.

Senapathi said she struggled with not having support at home for her hoped-for life path.

“My parents do not support my love for this art. It’s hard to talk about it. »

But on campus, his work is appreciated. She is a photographer for the Beckman Chronicle, a student publication at her school.

“She adapts to challenges and is not afraid to ask questions and think critically about the given situation,” wrote her photography teacher, Lauren Tipping, when submitting Senapathi to be considered as an artist of the year.

Of Senapathi’s photography, Tipping added, “Her images portray a unique aesthetic quality enhancing mood and color and you can see that when she brings in a new project to work on.”

Another photo of Senapathi depicts her subject, a young woman, along the coast, between water and land. It’s called “Caught Between”.

Senapathi described it like this: “She doesn’t know if she should keep moving forward or go back to where she once was. At the same time, she knows she won’t be the same after making this decision.

Computer Aided Visual Arts Finalists

Computer-aided visual arts are divided into three specialties: computer drawing and painting, graphic design and digital illustration, and photography. In addition to Artist of the Year, judges selected finalists in each category.

Juliana Jarvis of Placentia, a senior student at the Orange County School of the Arts, is the finalist in computer-aided visual arts in the specialty of drawing and painting by computer for artist of the year in 2022. ( Photo courtesy of Juliana Jarvis)

Computer drawing and painting: Juliana Jarvis, 17, a senior at the Orange County School of the Arts. The conceptual design of film and game characters fascinates her. Shows like “Adventure Time” and “My Little Pony” have inspired her to create her own characters and the worlds they inhabit. Her Portuguese heritage and her love of nature are also reflected in the messages expressed by her work. Environmental protection is a subject she would like to address through a video game.

Camden Ho of Irvine, a senior student at Arnold O. Beckman High School, is the computer-aided visual arts runner-up in the graphic design and digital illustration major for artist of the year in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Iris Lim)

Graphic design and digital illustration: Camden Ho, 17, senior at Beckman High. It took a while before anyone noticed. But the long, deconstructed cotton skirt she wore incorporated the same original font, “Alphabet Soup,” that a plastic handle on a mirror inspired her to create. It was Ho’s first time wearing the skirt. A multimedia artist, Ho can design, illustrate, screen print and sew. She already has a client who pays her to create her brand image and plans to continue studying design at university.

Ryan James McGarrity of Irvine, a senior student at Arnold O. Beckman High School, is the finalist in computer-aided visual arts in the specialty of photography for artist of the year in 2022. (Photo with l courtesy of Ryan James McGarrity)

Photography: Ryan James McGarrity, 18, senior at Beckman High. His father gave him a camera for Christmas four years ago. He used it on a trip to Mammoth and came away captivated by a photo he took of a waterfall. “Since that day, I take pictures seriously and show the world my point of view.” Self-taught, his perspective often involves taking risks, such as a bird’s eye view from the roof of the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, where he snuck in before dawn. Another shot from inside an abandoned, infested movie theater cost hundreds of flea bites.

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