Lynwood, Calif. – For many budding artists, having their work hang in a local gallery is an accomplishment. For Lynwood High junior Kevin Estrada, it was important to have his painting displayed on a national platform – in the U.S. Capitol.
Estrada’s work was selected from the 70 pieces that were showcased at the Croatian Cultural Center in San Pedro during Memorial Day weekend as part of the art contest run by Rep. Janice Hahn, D-San Pedro, and includes a $500 scholarship and a trip to Washington D.C. at the end of June.
“These young artists impress me year after year and I am proud to represent so many incredibly talented students,” said Hahn. “I look forward to welcoming Kevin Estrada to my Washington office and seeing his artwork showcased in the halls of our nation’s capitol!”
Estrada’s painting will represent the 44th Congressional District and hung along with art contest winners from across the country in the U.S. Capitol where it will remain for the next year.
Estrada wanted to make an ordinary object seem extraordinary and pick a Lynwood fire hydrant as the subject of his piece.
“A hydrant seems so small; we pass them every day and don’t think twice about them,” Estrada said. “But when you take a close-up look at it, you see the detail, you see the weathering and chipping of the paint, but still know that it is a powerful and needed tool. I wanted to capture it and make it look big.”
He took a photo of a hydrant from a low angle in the foreground, which gives an illusion of the hydrant standing nearly as tall as nearby palm tree. Then he painted the image on canvas.
Luis Vega, Lynwood High art teacher of 11 years, has seen Estrada grow as an artist and takes great pride in the work he produces.
“Kevin is in my Advanced Placement class and is one of my more skillful and creative artists,” Vega said, adding that the last time a Lynwood High student had their work selected for this particular contest was in 2007. “With the support of the district, we are able to use various media, including watercolors, pastels and inks. Especially as I see other schools cut their art programs, we are so glad that we continue to receive support for our students.”
The District is pleased to see that its students continue to be recognized by the community.
“The students on our campuses are talented and continue to excel in their course work. When they can express their creativity, it inspires them to reach higher levels of achievement,” said Lynwood Unified Superintendent Paul Gothold. “We continue to see greatness from our students and now the even those who walk through the U.S. Capitol will be impacted by the work coming from Lynwood.”
Three other Lynwood High artists were also given honorable mention honors: Joana Quijada, Bridgette Tapia and Johanna Pelayo.
“The arts are an important part of a well-rounded education and help students express themselves and their talents through performance or, as in the case with Kevin, through painting and illustration,” said Mary Lopez, Board of Education President.
Complete list of winners:
- First Place – Kevin Estrada, Lynwood High School
- Second Place – Cynthia Diaz, Paramount High School
- Third Place – Aaron Escandon, Phineas Banning High School
- Honorable Mention – Joana Quijada, Lynwood High School
- Honorable Mention – Bridgette Tapia, Lynwood High School
- Honorable Mention – Johanna Pelayo, Lynwood High School
- Honorable Mention – Faith Casco, Animo Pat Brown Charter HS
- Honorable Mention – Omar Jimenez, David Starr Jordan HS
- Honorable Mention – Danielle Hamlett, St. Anthony High School
- Honorable Mention – Nayib Grijalva, Paramount High School
Kevin Estrada 1: Lynwood High junior Kevin Estrada, 17, sits with some of his artwork. One of his paintings was selected by Rep. Janice Hahn to represent the 44th Congressional District and be displayed in the U.S. Capitol.
Kevin Estrada 2: Lynwood High junior Kevin Estrada had his painting of the fire hydrant selected by Rep. Janice Hahn to represent the 44th Congressional District and be displayed in the U.S. Capitol.
Kevin Estrada 3: Lynwood High junior Kevin Estrada stands with Rep. Janice Hahn and his art teacher Luis Vega at the Croatian Cultural Center in San Pedro on Saturday, May 23. Estrada will be going to Washington D.C. to see his painting put on display in the U.S. Capitol at the end of June.