Valley artists make their mark

The 13th annual “Evening of Art” makes a splash at the Hemet Public Library

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Hundreds of works adorned the upstairs conference room at the Hemet Public Library for the 13th Annual “An Evening of Art”

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Art is as the artist defines it: Whether you draw cartoons, paint portraits or make sculptures out of car parts, the ordinary can become extraordinary. This point was proven March 25 at the annual “An Evening of Art,” held at the Hemet Public Library for the 13th year by the Hemet Valley Art Association.
Hundreds ascended the library staircase to show appreciation for art in all forms, as well as the chance to learn (or re-learn) a craft over hors d’oeuvres and fine wines. How else would an artist spend a Saturday evening?
Among local artists imparting their craft to those eager to learn were:

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
First Prize: Amanda Watson, West Valley High School, “Exist.”

Phyllis Binkley, fabric art. Binkley has won awards for her work in national quilt shows since 2005, as well as local ones across California.
Janice Cipriani, watercolor. Cipriano holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from California State University Los Angeles, and takes inspiration for her works from National Parks.
Betty Pilley, watercolor. Pilley has won many awards for her work, is often featured at galleries across SoCal, and has been sketching and painting since she was a youngster. You can take her intermediate-advanced watercolor classes at the HVAA gallery.
Laura Ryan, encaustic (using heat to make art). In addition to being featured at the HVAA gallery, this award winner is self-taught and has also published articles in several magazines.

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Locals get their hands dirty as they learn new art skills on March 25.

Daniel Santos, acrylics. His mother gave him his first lessons, sparking his career in art, including an art major in college and honors at graduation. Santos has also taught classes in which he “unlocked” the secrets of painting.
This year saw several new members join the HVAA, including digital painter Rafael Lopez. And Ed Camarillo presented a type of art that was exhibited for the first time ever at the Evening of Art… Steampunk! Who would’ve thought old gizmos and gears, as well as ordinary pixels, could be made into art? Camarillo sure did.
In addition to individual efforts to sell a painting, there was also a collaborative 50-50 table. This was where select paintings were offered for $50, and 50 percent of the proceeds went toward scholarships.
HVAA President Penny Beaulieu gives this advice to those who may doubt their artistic abilities:

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Second prize was awarded to Josh Duran, Alessandro High School, for “Skull Collection.”

“There are a lot of people who think they can’t do it. But if they sit down and give it a shot, they can. I drew in high school and didn’t start again until about five years ago, so I sat without doing any art for a number of years until I started again. And it really… starts the creative juices.”
These days, there are plenty of teens who also express themselves through art. Good thing as this year, the association was able to provide four scholarships to young painters instead of the usual three:
Fourth place went to Ramon Chavez from Mountain View High School for “Seek of Sea.” “I like Japanese artwork, so I based it off of that.”
Third place went to Melanie Jansen from West Valley High School for “Letum Amor:” “The feelings you feel when you lose somebody you love… You try to acknowledge they’re still there. In a way it can bring you down, but at the same time it can lift you up.”

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Ramon Chavez, Mountain View High School, earned fourth place for “Seek of Sea.”

Josh Duran from Alessandro High School collected the second place win for “Skull Collection.
The first place prize now exists in the coffers of Amanda Watson from West Valley High School for “Exist.” “The universe and everything out there is just so far beyond what we can even imagine. Everything I put around the whale and the astronaut are just things that I feel, and everything that I see inside.”
It’s great to be a young artist these days, isn’t it?
The evening was concluded with a silent auction and an opportunity drawing. With all these opportunities for locals to buy in, it’d be a mystery why a future art legend didn’t get their start here today.
You may be wondering why this reporter cares so deeply about such art events as this. If you’re ever in the commons at Hemet High School, near the library, you’ll see why.

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Third prize went to Melanie Jansen from West Valley High School for “Letum Amor.”
Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Ed Camarillo presented a type of art that was exhibited for the first time ever at the Evening of Art…steampunk!

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