LIONS SHINE AT LAGUNA BEACH FESTIVAL OF ARTS

Congratulations to our five Visual Arts students that were winners at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Junior Art Show. JSerra’s five shining students, Quetzal Arevelo, Megan Lasken, Nicole Kurrasch, Shane Noviello and May Han were among the 13 student winners for the show. The student’s artwork was chosen from a field of thousands of entrants from schools across the county.

JSerra CHS Blog_Festival of ArtsThe Junior Art Show has been around since 1947 and has become a highlight to the summer event. It displays work from over 300 students, grades K-12, and keeps the importance and value of the arts alive in our youth.

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered at the festival art grounds to congratulate and acknowledge the recipients of the Junior Art Awards. Our students did an amazing job representing their artwork and JSerra.

Lion Pride!

Contursi Named Artist of the Week by the OC Register

NikkaBy: JEBB HARRIS, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

The Orange County Register profiles this week’s artist of the week, JSerra senior and Ladera Ranch resident, Nikka Contursi.

What art form(s) do you work in? Photography

How did you get involved in photography? I started taking pictures at my parents’ Christmas parties when I was about 4 years old. The angles were pretty hilarious – mostly shots of headless guests, legs and shoes. After that, I put down the disposable camera for a while until I borrowed my mom’s Nikon N2000 in middle school, and I haven’t put it down since!

What is your favorite work of art/photograph? Who is your favorite artist/photographer? I have loved Richard Avedon’s “Dovima With Elephants” since I was about 12, and it’s still one of my favorites. Something about the photograph just always seems to draw my attention. I admire so many photographers’ work, but to name a few: Avedon, Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter, Hugh Lippe, Arthur Elgort and Annie Leibovitz.

Who have been your influences? Did you have a mentor in your development as an artist? If so, how did they help you? Ms. Stehney, photography instructor at JSerra, has inspired me since the day I stepped foot in her classroom during my sophomore year. She has accomplished a wide range of work during her very successful career, and stories of her travels and work inspire me to continue shooting. I would not be where I am today without her enthusiasm and constant encouragement. She treats me like a professional rather than just a teenage student. She has continued to help me grow.

What inspires you? During the creative process I can be inspired by anything, but if I am looking for inspiration, I often go to couture and street fashion, people-watching and pop culture.

Other than photography, are you involved in any other activities?  If so, what are they? I am on the varsity tennis team at JSerra. I also volunteer by helping young children learn the fundamentals of tennis, and I work on my online portfolio:nikkaacontursii.tumblr.com.

What do you get out of taking pictures? I am a very visual person, so photography allows me to express my ideas without speaking. It’s also lots of fun because there are no rules and I’m able to create whatever I want. Photography also gives me a break from the real world. I can sit on my computer for hours editing photographs and never get bored. It’s something that brings me happiness.

How do the arts figure into your long-term goals? I hope to attend either Parsons in New York City or Academy of Art in San Francisco. I’d also like to spend a year studying abroad. My ultimate goal as of now is to become a fashion photographer and travel the world doing what I love.

What is the best advice you have received? Some of the best advice I have received has come from my parents. My mom and dad have been my support system since Day One, always catching me when I fall, and constantly telling me to never stop pursuing my dreams and not to let anyone get in my way. I don’t know what I would do without all of their continuous support.

Do you have any other thoughts about being a photographer that you would like to share with us? Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back in pursuing your dreams, shoot every single day and have fun doing what you love!

JSerra Students Win Pageant of the Masters Junior Art Contest

photo%201-1Congratulations to the Visual Arts students that were juried into the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Junior Art Show. Our three students that made the show were sophomores Ethan Worden, Megan Lasken and senior Noah Mudd.
We also congratulate Noah Mudd for winning first place in his junior division/category.
” I am so proud of the hard work these students put in to winn this prestigious award”, said  Nancy Harrell, Artist In Residence Director. The Festival runs through the end of August to view all the great work.

JSerra Students Exhibit Photography in Laguna Pageant of the Masters

student2Ten pieces of student photography will be displayed in the Laguna Pageant of the Masters, the most of any Orange County School.

Each piece was selected by art authorities from thousands of submissions representing schools throughout Orange County. The exhibit has become not only a showcase for new generations of young Orange County student artists but also a vivid testimonial to the value and importance of continuing arts education in our school systems.

Junior, Nikka Contursi will exhibit three photos at the Laguna Pageant of the Masters, the most from any school in the history of the pageant. 
The following students have demonstrated excellence in traditional darkroom skills, alternative processes and digital media:

Connection- Aryanna Hamidi

Playful Lions- Kelsey Testman

Dream Big- Josephine Duran

New Beginning- Zach Woznicki

Face Up- Courtney Vaccher

Insomnia – Nicolette Contursi

Cost was here- Nicolette Contursi

Broguiere’s – Nicolette Contursi

Blind -Courtney Strafeldas

Presentation of Time- Claire Grace

“I’m so proud of all my students and their hard work, this is such an honor,” said Regina Stehney, photography teacher.

The exhibit is now showing through August 31 from 10 a.m. –11:30, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach.

Senior Awards Mass Makes a Splash

IMG_0276The annual senior awards Mass recognized students for their academic, athletic, and fine arts achievements in the class of 2013.

Father Damien Giap opened the awards with a blessing over the graduating class and the award recipients. Each academic department awarded a student who embodied what it means to be a good citizen both in the classroom and in the community, and who excelled in their respective academic areas.

Award recipients included Valedictorian Sachin Govil for the Math and Science Gold Awards, Vanessa Zuck salutatorian, international student Andrew Lee for the Fine Arts Gold Award along with Kallen Zerhan for her outstanding work in the arts, Trinity Wright for both the Religion and Social Studies Gold Awards.

Each student was recognized for their dedication and accomplishments in each of the awarded areas.

Other award recipients include Carlos Solorzano Jr. for the Foreign Language Gold Award and Taylor Santore for the English Gold Award.

Receiving a standing ovation, special honoree senior Kyle Robb was inducted into the United States Naval Academy and will dedicate nine years of service to the Navy. Robb will also go through an intensive training program on the field and in the classroom, as he begins his time in the Navy.

The U.S. Marine Corp. was also in attendance to award Devon Pflueger and August Touchard for their accomplishments in athletics, Nick Cimmarusti and Julia Kenefick for their leadership, and John Shaver and Katie Jenner were awarded for their work in the arts.

Colby Lindholm and Greg Bucilla were recognized as JSerra’s Athletes of the Year, along with Rebecca Millard and Kyle Robb being named JSerra’s top scholar athletes.

With such an accomplished graduating class, the only way to cool off from a four-year run was a splash in the pool. Ending the awards, each senior took a dive in the pool before reminiscing over the senior class video and yearbook signing party to celebrate.

Congratulations to each member of the graduating class of 2013. It has been great to see each student grow and we wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

For photos from the graduation festivities click class of 2013.

JSerra ‘Strings’ Perform with The Beatles

image001The British Invasion brought us the two most popular rock groups of all time, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as the liveliest debate in rock history – which band is the greatest? These two legendary bands will engage in a musical “shoot out of the hits” featuring internationally renowned tribute bands, Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash.
Five alternating power sets with the two bands coming together on stage for an amazing encore makes this show a once-in-a-lifetime event.

JSerra’s Jack Yuan, Brendan McFadden, Daniel Nguyen, Reid Spencer, AJ Krause, Griffin Aroz, Connor Golley and Jason Bojun will join the nationally touring show for Yesterday,  Eleanor Rigby, and As Tears Go By, oringally sung by the The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

See the JSerra Stings live at the The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on January 12 at 8 p.m.

33157 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano CA, 92675
For Tickets & Dinner Reservations Call 949.496.8930
Tickets $15/$18

JSerra Baits Audiences with “The Mousetrap”

the-mousetrap1Cappies review: ‘The Mousetrap’

“Three blind mice, three blind mice. See how they run, see how they run.” The nursery rhyme takes on a much darker meaning in “The Mousetrap” than good old Mother Goose intended.

People, not mice run for their lives in JSerra Catholic High School’s ode to the classic show.

Since opening in 1952 in London’s West End, Agatha Christie’s mystery thriller has been entertaining audiences for sixty years. With more than 23,000 performances, it is the longest running show of all time.

Despite its longevity, the show has kept its allure of mystery. It keeps its twist ending a secret from all but those who have seen it, by keeping the show out of print. Audience members get to enjoy it for all it is worth when they see it for the first time.

As authentic as the costume and make-up designs are, the true success of a show depends on the actors’ performances and this cast does not disappoint.

The bright-eyed Mollie Ralston (Kallin Zahren) plays her part admirably through her believable sentimentality toward the chaotic Christopher Wren (Ryan Najjar) and her loud cries into the second act.

To read the complete review click here.