A portrait of success; Santiago-Rodriguez wins best in show at Youth Art Month contest


By Kelikoaelakauaikekai Gongob
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(Photo courtesy of Alanis Santiago-Rodriguez (11)) Alanis Santiago-Rodriguez’s (11) entry into Youth Art Month was “Diner Daydreaming,” featuring former MHS student Emma Ormond. With the entry, Santiago-Rodriguez was awarded Best in High School Photography.

The annual Youth Art Month (YAM) contest  in March was held to give students K-12 a chance to show their skills in art ranging from sculptures and paintings to photography. Junior Alanis Santiago-Rodriguez won overall Best in High School Photography for her photo “Diner Daydreaming,” which featured former MHS Junior Emma Ormond.

(Photo courtesy of Alicia Getty (9))
(Photo courtesy of Alicia Getty (9))

“I love the fact that each photograph has a story behind it. I have the (chance) to capture a moment in time or create my own story that is reminiscent of situations I’ve gone through,” said Santiago-Rodriguez.

Students were given the chance to show off their unique photography style. Freshman Alicia Getty said, “(YAM) is a way for students to engage in art during the month of March, to recognize and encourage students who participate in art.” Getty’s entry “Refracted Mosaic” used the layered tiles of a pool and the light manipulation of water to create the photo. “It was a piece that I have taken while I was on vacation, I was in the pool, saw the moment and snapped it,” said Getty.

This school year marks the first time that Santiago-Rodriguez took a photography class, in which she was introduced to the use of a camera and various photography techniques. “This is my first photography class,” Santiago-Rodriguez said. “I started to really like it and I see it as a potential career option.”

However Santiago-Rodriguez is already familiar with drawing and designing. “I’ve been involved with art in general for as long as I remember,” Santiago-Rodriguez explains. “My dad has always been into graphic design, so he’s always taught me things about art.”

(Photo courtesy of Chloe Canon (10))

Santiago-Rodriguez, along with other MHS students, entered the art contest through Fine Arts teacher Francine Sandell, who submitted their entries to the YAM contest. “It was just a picture that I posted on my Instagram,” Santiago-Rodriguez said. “Then suddenly, my teacher (Sandell) asked if I’d like to submit it into the Youth Art Month contest.”

(Photo courtesy of Austin Herrera (12))

Sandell felt that the picture was more than worthy to submit for YAM. “Even though it was something that she’d done without the intention of being in the contest,” Sandell said, “It was still a beautiful picture regardless.(Santiago-Rodriguez) has that unique style, and a natural talent that I see in many of my students.”

Santiago-Rodriguez feels a natural affinity towards photography, and is considering it as a major in college.