Art Auction at UCLA Community School Spotlights Student Talent, Raises Scholarship Funds

Annual event in its 4th year; proceeds to support college-bound seniors.

For the fourth consecutive year, UCLA Community School students, families, teachers, and staff gathered on the Koreatown-Pico-Union campus for the school’s annual Art Auction. The Dec. 1 event provided the opportunity to buy paintings created by students just in time for holiday gift giving. But the biggest gift of all will be given next spring, when proceeds from the auction will benefit college-bound seniors of the Class of 2017.

Jeremiah Borbe, a junior at UCLA Community School, helped his brother Joshua, a senior, to display his artwork at the 4th Art Auction.
Jeremiah Borbe, a junior at UCLA Community School (at left), helped his brother Joshua, a senior, to display his artwork at the 4th Art Auction.

Grace Maddox, who teaches art at UCLA Community School, says that she hopes that learning how to create art will teach her students that they have a voice.

“When I first came to California from South Korea, I did not speak English,” she says. “So in order to communicate with my 6th grade teacher, I drew what I wanted to tell her.

“The more I drew, the better I got at communicating through art. Teachers told me I was a good artist. Their words of encouragement gave me confidence in my abilities and inspired me to grow as an artist. Now, I try to pass that on to my students.”

Art classes are offered at UCLA Community School throughout the day, to students in its middle grades and high school. Many of Maddox’s students say that the cognitive benefits of creating art enhance the rest of their studies.

“I learn about many things like textures, values, mixing colors, shades, and how we put those together to make beautiful art,” says Noe Velasquez, a junior. “[Art class] unstresses me and helps me to concentrate.”

Barbara Drucker, Associate Dean, Community Engagement & Arts Education, and her husband Christos Dimopoulos, purchased works by UCLA Community School students Arturo Castillo (at left) and Jacadi White.  Drucker is also the Founding Director, Visual and Performing Arts Education Program
Barbara Drucker, Associate Dean of Community Engagement & Arts Education, and her husband Christos Dimopoulos, purchased artwork by UCLA Community School students Arturo Castillo (at left) and Jacadi White.
Drucker is also the Founding Director of UCLA’s Visual and Performing Arts Education Program, which offers art and enrichment programs at UCLA Community School.

“[Art classes] help to broaden my mind, to see the visual side of academics,” says senior Joshua Borbe. “It expresses my freedom of imagination too, and [teaches me] to be open-minded.”

Rebecca Solomon, who chairs the social studies and history department at UCLA Community School, says that the influence of the art program is evident in the students’ work in all disciplines.

“Our students and our whole school benefits from our arts program in so many ways,” she says. “When we assign a multi-media assignment about the elections or a project on Native American history, we can count on our students coming to the project with an incredible creativity that has been cultivated and grown by our art program. This year, students from our digital arts program created campaign ads and slogans for their Government Class and students from the painting classes created incredible murals on Native History linking Boarding Schools to the current fightback against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

This year’s Art Auction raised approximately $3,819 to benefit graduating seniors at UCLA Community School. The event was also sponsored by donations from Costco, Subway, and Trader Joe’s; IKEA donated frames for the students’ artwork.

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Above: UCLA Community School art teacher Grace Maddox (at center) and some of her students enjoyed the school’s 4th annual Art Auction fundraiser on Dec. 1. Eric Chon, a senior, displayed his painting, “Super Moon,” at the event.

L-R: Alan Antonio, junior; Reyna Alejo, senior; Maddox, Kate Medina, senior; and Chon.