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The Student News Site of La Sierra High School

The Eagle's Quill Online

A Brush to a Marvel

The Power of Art: Expressing Emotions through Creativity
Riverside Art Museum on, March 18,2024 Thu Nguyen 12th, and Mrs. Garnier visual arts teacher

The Riverside Art Museum hosted a student competition for visual arts on March 18, 2024, where they were awarded the Best in Show. All the students did a fantastic job, and the artwork on display was truly beautiful. One of the talented participants, Thu Nguyen, stood out among the rest and received the prestigious award. Thu Nguyen, a senior at La Sierra High School, won first place for her art, and her digital artwork was addressed to the State Council of Central and Northern California. She’s known for our California YAM (Youth Art Month); her art will also be recognized by the NAEA (National Art Education Association). Her creation inspired her to share her emotions and ideas with others worldwide and from different schools, such as Orange County, LA County and San Diego. It allows artists to express their thoughts, emotions, and ideas through various mediums and has the power to inspire, provoke and challenge viewers. Nguyen will share her response about her art and experience with visual art and winning California YAM. I had the pleasure of having a Q&A session with Thu Nguyen, and she shared some fascinating insights about her art and experiences. Here are some of the questions proposed to her:

Q. How does art reflect the culture and society in which it was created?

A. The art piece I made wasn’t really about the culture, to say the least, It was more about how in the past I was kind of distant towards it. Despite being born there, I’ve lived in America for the majority of my life. So the art piece was more reflecting how unaware I was in the past, like how it’s a separate world, where I don’t know what it looks like over there, because it’s been such a long time since I’ve been to Vietnam. Yet, people say it’s my home; my home country, but it’s hard to call it home when you’ve never seen it in so many years and you don’t know how long it has changed and like you never experienced.

Q. Can you discuss how advancements in technology affected the way artists create and share their work?

A. It not only helped more artists from far away to see my artwork, but most will help connect with people from other parts of the country. For example, my family over in Vietnam has seen my artwork, and pictures from the technology we use, and is a good way to connect. Technology helps me connect with my family and also helps me so much more on how to do art, It has also given me so much inspiration.

Q. How does it feel to win an art award? Does it make you feel like it would benefit you to have a career as an artist or an artist development?

A. Honestly, I am very surprised I won one specifically from that painting and work in general, Because to be honest that work was my first time painting seriously or wood burning seriously all the other previous times it was me doing it for fun. So I didn’t expect to win such a big award, I was learning from YouTube for a couple of months and to see what I developed so well I got recognized for my artwork and it’s honestly really cool; just surprising that I got imposter syndrome from that, it’s a great feeling. The career I am planning on pursuing is aerospace engineering, if so there are designs there to work on, I don’t think it’s going to do much for me. I would say that it’s not career-wise, but it’s nice to share my art with family, that’s the main purpose of my art because I have this belief that turning it into a career because money is involved, also loses its interest the beauty and love of art and creation. Winning the art award although yes it’s accomplished it’s what it should be about: family and home, and shows how it’s connected to people who relate.

Q. How have different cultures and traditions influenced the evolution of visual art?

A. I would say that it might relate to others in the world and saying that you’ve been raised here, and you are from somewhere else; my art shows emotions and vulnerability in my work, and that might of been why that has related.

Q. What are some of the most iconic pieces of art in history that captivated you? And what makes them so significant?

A. I am not a history person, I don’t focus on that history stuff. I was captivated by the vibrant colors that were interesting online and the videos I see is wanting me to make my style unique and get the aesthetic I wanted. That has also led to digital art usually with bright colors and it’s seen more often in painting.

Q. For those people you have in your life, who inspires you to do art or what caught your attention to make your art style?

A.  I have someone who has inspired me, it was my cousin in Vietnam. I remember at one point I saw her drawing at one point on with paint and doing anime and I got invested. I eventually went back and just saw her on that day, [it] kinda motivated me for the rest of my life and it’s so crazy looking back on that and now her doing a simple act has got me this invested, but I sadly wouldn’t. She was there by my side but just her there supporting me and my other family gave me the purpose of drawing and sparked the interest.

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About the Contributor
Nyomie Barcenas
Nyomie Barcenas, Editor
Nyomie Aileen Barcenas is a junior at La Sierra High School and is a Coverage Editor for The Sunrise Yearbook. Outside of journalism, she is in the beginning band and playing piano. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and family members, as well as traveling.

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