FONTANA, CA – Summit High School senior Emilio Ovando and A.B. Miller High School junior Jazmin Gonzalez both see the world through an artistic lens, allowing them to express themselves in creative ways. Their talent was recently recognized at the Young Artists’ Gallery, where both students received first place in their respective artistic categories.

The Young Artists’ Gallery is a juried exhibition for visual arts students in middle and high school that allows them to exercise their creativity and explore the expression of ideas through various mediums. Ovando and Gonzalez received certificates commemorating their achievement and congratulated by San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre during an awards ceremony in March.

Ovando chose to tackle the topics of mental illness and drug addiction through his short film “Disillusion,” which won him first prize in the Film and Animation category.

“Usually, important topics like these are shown through straight forward Public Service Announcements that don’t really leave an impact,” Ovando said. “I wanted to raise awareness for these issues in a way that would really grasp the viewer’s attention and transport them into a story. That’s the magic of short films.”

Ovando was first inspired to pursue a career in film at the age of five, when he went to see “Avatar” in theaters. He began to make gaming videos of his own and learned various movie-making programs and software to strengthen his skills.

Ovando is already making a name for himself in the film industry by working as a freelance videographer to create ads, social media and marketing materials for real estate companies, massage companies and more. He is working on a contract deal with Ford that would enable Ovando to create training videos for new employees.

“In the future, I want to start my own media business and film company,” Ovando said. “I already have a great name picked out, Golden Cut Cinema, and I like to tell people that I’m already the CEO of my own company.”

Ovando plans to attend Cal State Los Angeles in the fall, where he will major in film in pursuit of his long-term career goals.

Gonzalez won first prize in the Drawing category for her piece “Reflection,” a self-portrait made with pencil and charcoal. Her piece came from an assignment in her advanced art class, which challenged students to choose a photograph of themselves and draw it in any way they wanted.

“I wanted to choose a photo that showed me in a different light than I usually present myself,” Gonzalez said. “I am usually a very happy person, but I wanted to draw a piece where I wasn’t smiling to show that there are instances where I am not always that way. That’s how I wanted to express myself in that drawing.”

Gonzalez has been drawing for as long as she can remember. She fell truly in love with art in the fifth grade, when she participated in an art competition with her friends.

“My art piece was chosen as the best in our competition, and from then on I realized that I was actually good at drawing and that it was fun to do too,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez draws inspiration from different artistic styles, including realism and the Victorian style. She also enjoys drawing cartoons and expressing herself through different modes of drawing. While she is still considering her long-term college and career goals, Gonzalez said that art will always play a big part in her life.

The Young Artists’ Gallery was formed by RIMS California Arts Project, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and the Arts Council of San Bernardino in 1994 as a way to realize the goal of providing a space for secondary visual art students to showcase their many artistic talents. This year, the annual competition received nearly 400 submissions from student artists, with nearly 150 entries selected for a month-long exhibition at California State University, San Bernardino.


FUSD_ART1: Summit High School senior Emilio Ovando and A.B. Miller High School junior Jazmin Gonzalez both won first prize at the Young Artists’ Gallery in their respective artistic categories. Ovando’s short film “Disillusion” won first place in the Film and Animation category, while Gonzalez’s self-portrait entitled “Reflection” took home first prize in the Drawing category.