Palos Verdes Arts Center is a unique and vital art and cultural center nestled high in the hills of the Peninsula, gazing across the vast Los Angeles basin. From this special place you can see a good portion of Southern California, a global center of creative thought and industry. It has been a true delight and honor of mine to jury Now Trending: 6th Annual Alpay Scholarship Exhibition. This important show gave me the opportunity to look out across all of Southern California and witness the works of numerous thriving and vital art students creating inspiring and tremendous work. Every student that submitted work for consideration should be commended — bravo! Keep it up and please keep creating. With so much strong work, narrowing down the selections to what will fit in the PVAC galleries was indeed a challenge. It has been a difficult time — especially difficult for students. As a university educator, I have seen the real human struggle that so many of my students have endured during the ongoing pandemic era. Norms of socialization, communication, and personal identity have been twisted, distorted and broken. Reviewing the applications for this show, I could see similar themes emerging — an intense search for identity and beauty in rapidly changing landscapes. The creators of these artworks have been remotely instructed, masked, and distanced. They have been forced to live their formative years during a uniquely challenging time. Regardless of these challenges, it’s clear that they have persevered and they have triumphed. The creativity and early mastery of the arts displayed in this show guarantee strong and inspiring artwork into the distant future. Student shows like this are a vital conduit for young artists to make the leap from education into their own art careers.
Deep thanks to everyone at Palos Verdes Art Center who made this show possible. Thank you, Dr. O. Allen Alpay, for your generosity and vision for this tremendous vehicle dedicated to student success in the arts.
Ben Jackel, Juror