OKHS Senior Capstone Program
The Senior Capstone Program is a new program of independant learning for high school seniors pursuing a career in art. This year our five senior art students will create their own protfolios, apply for scholarships, submit to contests and gallery shows, and commit time to creating their artist bio, artist statement and their own unique take on life as represented by their culture and experience. At the end of 2022, these students will hold an opening for their artworks.
Our 2021 Capstone Seniors were Anahi Castillo-Leavitt and Edwin Tixta.
Thanks to a generous grant from the North Central Education Foundation, we have the opportunity to provide our students with a platform to share their work with you. A big thank you to Rufus Woods and the North Central Education Foundation for making the High school online art show happen.
This year, we were fortunate enough to have two senior students participate in the senior art capstone course through the OKHS Art Department: Anahi Castillo-Leavitt and Edwin Tixta.Edwin's Artist Statement
I enjoy doing research for a topic that I will be creating about. I like putting meaning and metaphor in my work. Writing poems and small phrases to my work is very crucial in what I do. Writing and art go hand in hand, they are already a great form of expression individually but when combined they create a bigger presence of completion. Of course, I will not just create for the purpose of creating a deeper meaning, sometimes I just create for the fun of it. Still making even art that is just for the aesthetic is enjoyed by people, I want them to enjoy my art.
I feel a need to generate art because other people may connect to what I make. I have gone through some things that are not adequate to say but it pains me not being able to talk about it freely so art in a sense is a language that I communicate through. Although some things that I talk about through my work are not something that I have gone through. Art and writing can be destructive but also very healing. Being able to express my concerns in a creative and sometimes aggressive way may capture the eyes of those who hurt, causing a safety blanket. When I see others' art astonishment and excitement run through me. My art could be that way for some people. Creating for the sole purpose of easing and helping those around me.
The earliest instance that I have about creating something would be when I was a child in elementary school. Even then it was not the earliest memory, it was when I was laying on the ground of our apartment in California painting. My parents looked at the drawing it apparently looked like an elephant to them. My parents were seasonal workers, going from California to Oregon to Washington than back again to California. My siblings and I would go with them, going through chilly weather, forests and long stretches of desolate highways. Staying in hotels and sometimes camping out in the cherry fields, its fun thinking back to those days. Although I do look at it with fond memories it was also a fuel for the art that I create today. The nights were cold, rooms were hot with people being stuffed, the cold showers. I would have to translate for my parents and still do. Sometimes doing so would bring up spikes of nervousness but I do not mind. Practicing communication is an important opportunity to make connections.
A considerable influence on me are artists like Brandi Milne, she has a soft pastel palette, but her art has deep meaningful subjects such as death and coping with it. Qing Han, her artwork is very cosmic and out of this world. She had four heart surgeries and died in February of 2020. Although with the pain that she went against she never stopped her creativity. Gaston Pacheco’s work uses organic shapes and has great character concepts. I wish to be able to animate my art, giving it a little more power in the sense of action and movement.
My work is vibrant and playful, and I try to make it as striking as I possibly can while maintaining a strong form of professionalism. I’m inspired by two independent artists and they go by the name of Nelnal and Wooma. Nelnal’s striking character designs and Wooma’s storytelling demonstrate work I aspire to be.
Growing up my mother didn’t have much money to spend on me, that meant art supplies were scarce and sacred. Every day I look back thinking about how far I’ve come with so little in hand. I try to explore new mediums like; Sculpture, animation, digital, traditional paintings and drawings are some of my study areas, however painting and illustration are my favorites.
I was able to go so far thanks to my mentor, Mr. Brown. He’s my influence. Without him I wouldn’t have been as successful as I am today. There are countless mediums that I’d like to try and become experimental with as the art form is almost endless. I take pride in my Hispanic origin and would love to support my hard-working mother and family in Mexico if I become successful in pursuing an art career.
Living my entire life in a rural area I’m curious to see how different life would be in a beautiful well-populated area such as Seattle. When a Cornish College of the Arts counselor Taylor Bednarz came to my school all the way from Seattle to talk about the college, a certain yearning grew to experience the creative life of the city. It’s been my dream to go pursue Cornish College of the Arts for years and I’ve done everything in my power to be in contact, such as attending National Portfolio Day 2019 and open houses. The idea of creative freedom in a college is something I still cannot comprehend and It’s what I crave the most.
This is Anahi Castillo-Leavitt's senior project for OKHS. She has created a body of work and a legacy piece for the school. In "My work is vibrant and playful, and I try to make it as striking as I possibly can while maintaining a strong form of professionalism.
"I take pride in my Hispanic origin and would love to support my hard-working mother and family in Mexico if I become successful in pursuing an art career."