Graphaids Art Supply in Westchester hosted an arts show on March 28th that allowed several budding young artists from Westchester High School to display their talent.
In January, Westchester High joined three other area schools that voted to join the Innovation Division of the Los Angeles Unified School District as part of an effort to gain more local control of their schools.
Graphaids was the first local business to participate in a school, business, community partnership for the high school that will benefit the school’s students.
Matt Vance, one of the young artists whose work was displayed at the showing, is a former Westchester High student.
“My work has mostly elements of abstract and realism, like a mixed medium,” said Vance, adding that this is a new style among young artists. “Art changes through the years, so this is a new style that a lot of artists are incorporating into their work.”
In addition to the artwork exhibited by the students, community members and teachers from Loyola Marymount University also contributed their paintings.
Leila Levi teaches art at the high school and also brought some of her paintings to display.
“My goal is to try and create shows for the students’ work, and if the teachers and the students show together, I think that’s a wonderful thing,” Levi said.
Florence Bracy, one of the organizers of the event and the communications director of Parents of Westchester With Orville Wright, was excited about the turnout, which organizers say was approximately 200.
“We’re looking at doing more partnerships with other businesses in the area,” said Bracy, who has a son enrolled at the high school.
Music and his environment are some of the things that motivate and inspire Vance when he is painting.
“Current events also motivate me,” he said.
The young artist, who has sold several of his paintings, is interested in exploring new concepts in art and not being regulated to one set discipline.
“I would like to try and mix a look of different (art forms),” he said.
Levi, who has her own studio in Venice, was excited that the young artists had an outlet to display their work.
“It’s a great opportunity for the students because they get to bring their families in and they get to put it on their college resumÈ,” she said. “It’s really inspiring.”
Levi said that Westchester High has a strong arts program that includes woodworking, drama, dance, theater and music.
“We have an amazing program with some amazing artists,” she said. “It’s one of the gems that people don’t realize that we have.”