Students express their creative side at RCC

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By Destiny Rivera / Managing Editor

Eyes on the prize (Allison Perez / Photo Editor)

By Destiny Rivera / Managing Editor

The sun was out and ready to paint the town red, literally.
With temperatures in the high 80s the artists who entered in Riverside City College’s “Chalk Walk” persevered through one of the first fiery days of spring.
Juan Samochoa worked on his piece all day on April 18; this was his second year entering the contest.
“I know I have a permanent sunburn for sure, for at least two weeks,” he said.
On top of that, he also received quite a lot of attention during the third day of the event, but the viewers were not much of a distraction.
“I’m pretty good about ignoring people,” he said.
“Usually, when I do art work, I zone out and just focus on what I’m doing.”
Chalk Walk is an event that has been going on for decades; it started in the late 1980’s with the Oceanography Club and continues today with only the Art Club, and the help of sponsoring from The Associated Students of Riverside City College.
This event went on the throughout Earth week, April 17 through 19 in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Teaching and Learning Center, and was open to all RCC students, even if they were not in an art club or class.  
 “We try to encourage students to participate with the whole art scene,” Samochoa said.
“The majority of the students here are artists, but you don’t have to be an artist to participate.”
Norman Rockwell, an American artist who painted the “Four Freedoms” series in 1943, inspired Samochoa’s art piece.
The subject imagery rules were very specific. They included environmental concerns, such as disappearing rainforests, endangered species, pollution, and recycling.
Stacy Patino was another artist who entered in “Chalk Walk”; she has also taken several art classes at RCC.
Patino said, “Since it is Earth week at RCC, I especially get really into it because I really think sustainable issues and Earth week is a big idea. I get really involved in it.”
The name of the original piece she worked on for the event was called “Love your Mother.”
“By ‘love’, I also mean to protect her. I am very inspired by nature,” said Patino.         
“I know that it had to focus around Earth, having a protector, preserving her, and recycling issues. I thought about Earth and about how she nurtured us to help us grow up in our environment. We should preserve it for future generations and on.”
 The only media allowed was non- toxic chalks and pastels.
The art club provided a limited amount for contestants from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., but artists had the option to bring a bulk of their own.   
To finish his drawing of an octopus, Francisco Mesa had to come back the next day with his own vibrant colors.
 “I am trying to make it colorful, because normally they’re seen more as a darker type of animal, and the lighter colors help. I want to bold everything up; add more contrast to make it pop out, and add more intense colors,” said Mesa
 “I don’t actually have the colors with me so I might have to bring them tomorrow so I could finish up by 12.”
After seeing a few of the drawings, Mesa knew he wanted to enter a piece based off the sea.
“To begin with, I had no idea what I actually was going to draw, but I saw that all the people were using more land animals that were more mammal based, so I thought ‘let’s use something from the sea,”’ he said.
“It had to be an Earth based theme, which I kind of forgot about when I started doing this sea creature. I started incorporating the Earth and there are other elements that I am going to try to incorporate.”
Entries considered for awards were only original pieces of work.
Disqualifications went to any pieces that disrespected the guidelines, were inappropriate, or lacked theme.
First prize went to Stacy Patino, who won $75 for her “Love your Mother” work of art.
“I worked so hard, I haven’t gotten first place in an art contest yet. I actually got third place last year, but I entered it really late and I only worked on it for two hours,” said Patino
 “I at least bought my art supplies back, and now I can buy even more supplies and create more art. It’s really nice coming from third and then going to first. I’m showing progress.”
Second place went to Francisco Mesa, winning $50 for his piece, and third place went to Robert Rosas, leaving him with a win of $25.
RCC students can discover their creative side and become involved with RCC Art Club by attending the club’s meetings, which are scheduled on Tuesdays from 12:50 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. in the downstairs art building.

Taking home the money (Allison Perez / Photo Editor)

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