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Students reveal horror and fear

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Liliana Castañeda
Staff Writer

The School of Arts and Enterprise, a charter school in downtown Pomona, showcased its horror themed exhibition Saturday. 

The exhibit was based around the high schoolers’ art. The school has several buildings, one centering upon middle schoolers, another that centering upon the high schoolers, and then the main building.

“No guns, knives or drug paraphernalia can be shown, but we do allow blood. It can show the intent of guns or knives but they can’t be explicitly shown,” art director Carol Goldwater said.

Being the only professional gallery for middle school and high school students in the United States, the charter school receives about 500 to 3,000 visitors for each exhibition, Goldwater said. 

“The gallery is very competitive to get into. They need to earn it, and I think that makes it more meaningful for the kids,” said Mark Bunner, visual arts teacher.

With around 70 guests in attendance, a stand outside the gallery sold prints of the pieces displayed inside.

Students are able to sell prints of their work, or copies of the originals. They receive 70% of the sales they make, with the other 30% going toward the materials it takes to make the copies. 

Students are also able to participate during the art exhibition as guides, helping the guests understand the background of certain works while guiding them throughout the exhibit. 

As the students familiarize themselves with the environment that surrounds art galleries, they in turn are able to detail that experience on their transcripts, Goldwater explained.

One piece that stood out was created by Esmeralda Allanes, a student at the charter school. 

The piece portrayed a drawing of a woman blindfolded, her face deadcenter of the drawing as it sits amidst a Ouija board. 

The drawing had realistic qualities, appearing as though the woman’s head was actually sticking out of the drawing as it contrasted with the two-dimensional board behind her.

“I was inspired by the movie ‘Haunted Mansion’ with Eddie Murphy,” Allanes said. “The girl in the center of the drawing is actually based on one of the main characters.”

Another colorful drawing depicting a morphed ice cream monster caught the attention of several guests as its colorful style juxtaposed with its dark imagery. 

Atop what appeared to be a strawberry flavored scoop of ice cream dripped in red laid a scoop resembling a head. With a purple face and wild hair, the image resembled the shrunken heads found in South America, all created at the hands of 11th grader Mikaela Cedeno.

“It’s their favorite assignment, the horror theme,” Bunner said. “To think of a level of what truly frightens them, the element of nature and creatures, there’s an ancestral core of being frightened by strange animals or settings.”

Liliana Castañeda can be reached at

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