Credit: Kevin Jokipii

Saito High School Art Exhibit — Making Meaning of it all

by Kevin Jokipii
Making Meaning of It All Illustration
by: Cia Atkins
Saito: Making Meaning of it All Exhibition
Making Sense
Making Sense
Making Sense
Making Sense

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Written by: Kevin Jokipii
August, 27, 2021 

The pandemic has been a major source of sometimes overwhelming sense of uncertainty. Art  has allowed us to communicate when we’re far apart, generating positivity, gratitude, and hope  during the trying times of COVID-19. It’s a way to free your mind and express your emotions  when life has left you stuck inside, limiting your interaction with others. We’re all going through  it so why not try to communicate it through art, where we’re allowed to channel our problems  and uncertainty and even hopes and dreams into something beautiful and meaningful. The pandemic has been a major source of sometimes overwhelming sense of uncertainty. Art  has allowed us to communicate when we’re far apart, generating positivity, gratitude, and hope  during the trying times of COVID-19. It’s a way to free your mind and express your emotions  when life has left you stuck inside, limiting your interaction with others. We’re all going through  it so why not try to communicate it through art, where we’re allowed to channel our problems  and uncertainty and even hopes and dreams into something beautiful and meaningful. 

In times of social injustice and unrest, art amplifies important voices and messages. Saito High  School used art to document their experiences or simply to create something that might help  them express how the pandemic has made them feel. The great art exhibit at Saito High School  was a wonderful experience for not only the people who attended but for the artists as well.  The artwork at the exhibit was made by student artists at Saito High School and some work was  kindly provided by artists from Painted Brain. Painted Brain is a non-profit organization the  advocates for mental illness through the arts.  

One student named Monica Tejeda had a lot to say about her art work that was put on display.  She had an image that expressed something she went through because of COVID-19, and that  was actually going to the hospital. The image shows a hospital waiting room with a man sitting  

down, tired and exhausted, probably working a long shift at the hospital. There’s also a woman  lady in the back, who is afraid to even sit next to the man because of the fear she has of being  around people. This is an excellent representation of the disconnection we experienced  because of COVID-19. 

Student artist Jason Rodriguez chose a picture of lights and a nice view outside. He mentions  how COVID has affected him by showing him to appreciate the little things in life more. When  everything started to close down everyone started to feel like there was nothing to do he  discovered fun in just looking outside and enjoying the view by himself. This made him open his  mind more which was a good thing. 

Student artist Melinda Plascencia at first thought that the pandemic was a real drag because  she likes to be out and about on her own terms. For her art piece, she showed a bunch of  different colored spray cans that are used for graffiti art. This is a hobby she left behind but  came back to during the pandemic. Not only did this hobby keep her entertained but it also  helped her bond with her older sister since they are also on the creative side and enjoys graffiti  art. 

Another student artist named Jason Mendoza had a photo of shoes in a circle. To him this  defined friendship because he made a lot of friends at his job during COVID-19. Student artist  Andy Perez had an image of a cat because he had to get a cat so he would have someone to  take care of during the pandemic. 

Student artist Jason Margarito said that the pandemic affected him in many ways. One way it  affected him and all of us was having to wear a mask everywhere, even when being around  family. His image of him with parrots, wearing a mask, expressed the community he was  missing because of COVID-19. Student artist Andrew Jimenez had an image of his window  because that’s what he had to look at every day. COVID made him stay inside and away from  people. 

Student artist Emilee Santos did a charcoal, pencil, paint and coal piece called “Irrevocable”.  The definition of irrevocable is “not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered; final.” Age is a  clear example of something that is irrevocable. On the right side of her piece she chose to  depict a woman with an expression of resignation who is watching the process of aging without  being able to stop or slow the process. The image she has on the bottom shows a human  signaling silence, because death is linked to silence. To say this is an interesting piece is an  understatement.  

Emilee Santos also did another art piece. The title of the color pencil art work is “The Essence of  Life”. She wanted to create an art piece that depicts the embodiment of life and its creation.  She chose bees because plant life comes from pollinators, such as bees. When she thinks of  bees she thinks of honey, hard work and the diversity of exotic vibrant flowers, which inspired  her to use bright colored pencils. This is another very interesting piece.  

Student artist Jaelyn Elder did an abstract art piece. For her painting she used acrylic,  watercolor, chalk and oil paint to see how everything would look together and to show how her  emotions are. 

Student artist Rosario Meija did a stacked twist coil pot with the word self-love written on the  pot. She said she chose this word because during the pandemic she struggled mentally. She  decided to cut off people in her life who were just draining her good spirit. This led to her finally  cutting off a toxic relationship. She instead chose herself and wanted better. She is now starting  to love her mom, body, and life again. This are all examples of her self-love. 

The art exhibit at Saito High School was a big success. It brought together a vast number of  people who were able to view and enjoy the great art work done by the students of Saito High  School and Painted Brain. It shows so much positivity that came during the pandemic. The art  wasn’t only a way for the artists to cope but was a to express themselves. The beautiful thing  about art is that it’s personal voyage that can bring light to any situation. The Saito High School  art exhibit showcased and celebrated the talented artists involved.

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