Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NewSpring Art Auction

A Spring Woods High senior who dreams of a career drawing comics and using computers to create vivid animated, digital cartoons was awarded a new, $5,000 scholarship during the recent NewSpring Art Auction. The May 1 auction held in the lobby of the Forney Construction Building on Long Point was packed with Spring Branch ISD art students standing near their works in various media, which hung on the lobby walls windows. SBISD parents and staff and NewSpring supporters bid on the art.

Students kept all auction proceeds. NewSpring founder and chairman Robert Westheimer praised new scholarship recipient Lorelei Shannon as a national talent. Only an hour before the auction, Lorelei was named as the Best in Show winner at SBISD’s separate MediaFest awards presentation. She created a stunning and meticulously drawn animated cartoon titled “Captain Zodiak and the Planet of Ice” to win that top MediaFest honor.

 “Lorelei will be famous artist one day,” Westheimer told the NewSpring crowd. The Spring Woods High senior plans to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, one of the nation’s top fine arts colleges. “I discovered what the computer can do for art, but computers still can’t do what an artist does. I’m excited about heading to Savannah College of Art and Design,” she said. Lorelei quipped that she hopes to major in “comics and cartoons.”

Other former SBISD students receiving $5,000 NewSpring Art scholarships were University of Texas at Austin freshman Chinh Pham, a 2013 Spring Woods High graduate, and Adrianna Guillen, a sophomore at Texas A&M University-Kingsville who is also a SBISD graduate. Pham received the First Baptist Church Spring Branch Scholarship and Guillen is a three-time recipient of the Linda Buchman Scholarship.

One of the evening’s standout art pieces was a “guicello,” or a cello body matched to a guitar neck, and a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar with body and neck parts designed and fabricated by Northbrook High sophomore Marcos Gonzalez. “It’s really a combination of both art and music, and we have found a way here to combine the two,” said his instructor, Northbrook High art teacher Scott Keairnes.

Keairnes collects broken musical instruments across SBISD and then finds ways to put them to good use again. He calls Marcos his “Leonardo Da Vinci” for his great ability to reuse objects and for his many talents in art, design and woodworking. “He sculpts. He draws. He paints, and he plays music,” the art instructor said. Marcos, who is 15, came to America from Cuba just two years ago. He saw no path forward in art as a career until he came to Houston and to SBISD schools.

“When I came here, I saw 1,000 doors open for me in art. If you can make a living here in art, then I will do it,” the young man said. In recent years, art students have earned thousands of dollars through NewSpring’s annual live auction and scholarship event. NewSpring’s art and business programs were created to help at-risk students learn how to achieve and attain a better future.

To learn more about NewSpring, please visit www.newspringcenter.org.


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