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AMOCA goes back to high school

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Sonny Acosta studies “Set of Geometric Plates” by Max Alvarez, a student of Flintridge Prep in La Cañada-Flintridge, Sunday at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona. The piece is part of the 2019 SoCal High School Ceramics Exhibition. / photo by Katelyn Keeling

Sonny Acosta studies “Set of Geometric Plates” by Max Alvarez, a student of Flintridge Prep in La Cañada-Flintridge, Sunday at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona. The piece is part of the 2019 SoCal High School Ceramics Exhibition. / photo by Katelyn Keeling

Natalie Gutiérrez
Staff Writer

Over 90 ceramic pieces by high school students were showcased at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona.

The 2019 SoCal High School Ceramic Exhibition presented art work from over 80 students that attended 19 different high schools across the southern California region.

“It was nice to see how enthusiastic the kids were to come out and be proud of their pieces in the exhibition,” said Kimberly Andrade, guest services manager at the AMOCA.

The ceramic work ranged from Día de los Muertos skulls to flower vases, to a peacock and human hybrid head.

The piece titled “Between Worlds” created by Megan Reh, junior student from Mater Dei High School, was awarded Best in Show.

The ceramic piece depicted a head with a blank stare, hazy blue clouds over the head and flames going up the neck.

“This was one of my favorites. I like how it has a deeper and more complex meaning to it than what initially meets the eye,” Alejandra Martinez, junior sociology major at Cal State San Marcos, said as she pointed at the ceramic hybrid.

The museum also included a visitor choice award in which the ceramic piece with the most votes in the ballot box by the end of the exhibition will be awarded.

Juan Magallon, Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, grew up in Pomona and has always been fairly familiar with the museums in the downtown area. Magallon said he wanted to check out the new exhibitions at AMOCA.

“It’s very interesting that the whole exhibition was made by high school students. You don’t really see that in art museums,” Magallon said.

Magallon said his vote for the visitor’s choice award went to the ceramic piece titled “Life and Death” made by Anna Coomans, junior at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes.

“This was one of the pieces that caught my attention the most. I liked the contrast of life and death that it depicts and that there was room left for interpretation,” Magallon said.

Aliyah Hermosillo, freshman at Chaffey College, visited the exhibition as part of her art class assignment.

“The whole exhibition is amazing. It’s crazy that all of these were made by people my age,” Hermosillo said. “It’s honestly very inspiring.”

Those that visited the museum found themselves enjoying different artists.

“I like all of the pieces, but if I had to choose just one it would be the ceramic sushi. It’s very detailed and unique. I also love sushi,” Hermosillo said with a big smile on her face.

The museum welcomed the art by the high school because it is something that is rarely done.

“I think it’s really nice that the museum was able to do this for high school students when usually we don’t really hear other museums being able to display or exhibit any type of work done by high school students,” said Andrade.

The exhibit was funded by the Ruth and Joseph C. Reed Foundation for the Arts and DEW Foundation.

The exhibition will be showcased until May 26. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children 12 and under.

Natalie Gutiérrez can be reached at natalie.gutierrez2@laverne.edu.

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