Art student and avid drawer Alejandra de Hoyos wipes her hands across her high-waisted American Apparel shorts before returning to her peculiar sketch across a wrinkled sheet of paper. Perhaps the most reserved students are the ones with the loudest outlets of expression.

“I like to draw little worms. I really like the lines,” junior de Hoyos said, as she flipped through a battered sketchbook. There are few pages absent of the worms that de Hoyos is referring to, instead they are littered with fascinating patterns and designs. Nearly all of her drawings include intricately drawn worms, some filled in with watercolors, others left sketched in black and white.

De Hoyos, currently taking AP Art Studio, enrolled in the most challenging art course offered at Bonita Vista.

“Students are expected to enter the class with experience and good skills,” AP Art Studio instructor Sandra McGinty said. “Alejandra’s work is something I would expect from someone much older. It’s very sophisticated.”

With few restrictions and limitations, the students are able to produce a wide variety of artistic creations. This semester, the students were assigned to create a surreal piece.

“That was my favorite. I showed a face with snakes instead of hair,” de Hoyos said.

De Hoyos impressed her classmates and Ms. McGinty with her remarkable talent.

“Her work is unusual and unique,” McGinty said.

After participating in art fair and attending Bonita Vista’s art camp in her sophomore year, de Hoyos expressed her excitement to showcase her work again. Unfortunately, the art fair was cancelled this year, due to  the teachers’ long-disputed contract disagreement and near-strike.

“I want to continue doing art in the future,” de Hoyos said. “Self expression is important.”

Taking chances opens doors to new opportunities and sometimes, love. Junior Mariana Contreras is enamored with everything about art and the artistic process. Had she not taken Mixed Media 1-2, Contreras’s love for art might not have grown.

“Art has always been a hobby of mine since elementary school. This year, I just felt like trying out an art class,” Contreras said.

Contreras is always enthusiastic about her assignments and incorporates new mediums with each project. The class’s projects range across a wide spectrum of mediums. Mixed Media 1-2 encouraged Mariana Contreras to experiment with different styles of art, from Native American influenced cloth to abstract portraits.

“Over the past year, I’ve finished drawings, paintings, masks, and currently a yarn basket,” Contreras said.

Students are required to follow a series of standards in completing their projects. Creativity is nonetheless encouraged by instructors and fellow artists.

“My favorite assignment would have to be the tapacloth project. We used a small five by seven inch grid to draw animals,” Contreras said.

In taking Mixed Media 1-2, Contreras was inspired to continue creating art, driven by a passion and curiosity for the subject.

“I’m still deciding whether or not to enter art advanced in my senior year, but I definitely want to continue doing mixed media,” Contreras said.

By, Shelby Moring

Taking one year of art class is for the weak. And junior Daniel Esquivel, currently enrolled in Advanced Art, is not weak.

“One year wasn’t enough,” Esquivel said.

Second year art student Daniel Esquivel experiments with several different mediums. His favorite, however, serves as the main ingredient for his artistic creations.

“I like to work with oil pastels the most. They’re really easy to blend with. I usually do my best work with them,” Esquivel said.

Esquivel, like all proud artists, was upset with the cancellation of the annual art fair.

“[It] is disappointing. The fair shows off students’ best work,” Esquivel said. “The teachers would have chosen which ones to display.”

Art serves as a form of therapy for Esquivel, as he resorts to creativity and self-expression through artistic creation in times of stress.

“Art is important to me because it’s relaxing,” Esquivel said. “It really mellows me out.”