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High school artists showcase their work

Art by West Ranch students displayed at Castaic coffee shop

Posted: January 6, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 6, 2014 2:00 a.m.

West Ranch High School artists Savannah Macias, left, and Maxwell Schwarz stand in front of the untitled work on which they collaborated. Their work was among several pieces featured at Sunday's 2014 Art Exhibition at the It's A Grind coffee shop in Castaic. Signal photo by Jim Holt.

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Patrons of a Castaic coffee shop enjoyed a tastier experience Sunday afternoon when West Ranch High School art students unveiled what they’ve been working on at a show dubbed simply, the 2014 Art Exhibition.

Samples of the their art presented a diverse palette of sweet, sour and bitter expression between noon and 6 p.m. Sunday inside the It’s A Grind coffee shop on The Old Road at Hasley Canyon Road.

More than two dozen renderings served up in charcoal, oil, spray paint and tiny impressionist-like pencil dots — just to mention a few techniques — transformed the coffee house walls into a tapestry of emotion, all woven through different disciplines.

The largest of the art pieces belonged to senior Maxwell Schwarz, a West Ranch senior art student.

“This one was a result of lines again and it came out kind of looking like a terrorist,” he said, explaining one of his three expressionist paintings displayed in the coffee shop’s front window.

“It’s a scary one,” he said, of the work titled, Terrorist #1. “ People always ask me ‘Maxwell, you’re angry. What’s going on?’

“It’s not that I’m angry, I’m actually happy,” he said. “It’s my style.”

One canvas, the size of a car door, done primarily in black spray paint and hung over the coffee cream jugs and sugar packets was a collaborative effort between Schwarz and a junior art student at the school, Savannah Macias.

“In this big one, I did the background and I didn’t really like it,” Schwarz explained. “It was crappy, so I decided to give it to Savannah and Savannah did this drip effect with the spray paint and it came out pretty cool.”

Schwarz had applied three or four layers and “some charcoal” in an effort as he said: “of trying and trying, over and over, to get something right.”

When it was done, Macias described what she liked most about the untitled piece as being “the little details,” pointing out an extension of one black spray painted petal that painted the two-inch depth of the canvas.

“I spray painted over it with a rose because I like flowers,” she said.

And while Schwarz explores an “abstract expressionist” style of painting, Macias defines her own style as pencil dotting.

“When you’re looking at your art, you know when its done,” she said, pointing to a smaller piece of art depicting a black pencil dot image of an open rodent’s skull, adorned with fuchsia colored cherry blossoms. “And, I was looking at this and said it’s not done.”

So, for balance, she added a thin geometric design to focus the viewer’s attention on the skull.

The 2014 Art Exhibition came about when Schwarz mentioned to his mother that he would like to try to sell some of his art.

Whether or not any of the art was available for sale Sunday was strictly up to each individual participating artist, he said. A percentage of any art sales is expected to benefit the art program at West Ranch High School.

jholt@signalscv.com
661-287-5527
on Twitter
@jamesarthurholt

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