Some of Hesperia High School's top visual arts artists had the opportunity to showcase some of their artwork at California State University of San Bernardino.


Out of the many artists that attend HHS, nine were chosen for the multi-school district art competition: Georgina Gomez, Cynthia Hernandez, Merriha Simons, Diana Dominguez, and Haley Viglione were submitted in the art category and Olivia Moore, Victoria Faith Tinsley, Susan Vannatta, and Bradley Weathers were submitted in the photography category.


The Young Artists competition is held annually at CSUSB for any relatively close school districts willing to participate.


"This is our 12th year [doing this competition]," said Armalyn Da La O, the regional director of the Rims California Arts Project.


The competition includes a middle school level and a high school level. High school competitors have the option of submitting a two-dimensional piece of work in the form of a 4x3 drawing, a painting, a photograph, or a three-dimensional sculpture.


"High school has a beginning course and a more advanced course to submit to separate them out a little bit," said Bonnie Tilliotson, the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.


This year about 14 districts, with various schools within the district, participated. There are two stages of judging that the contestants go through in the competition.


"The first session is jurying, simply the process of determining which pieces are actually going to be in the show [and the second session is determining which art places and which are honorable mentions and best of shows,]" said Tillotson.


This is due in part to very limited space in the gallery where the students' artwork is displayed.


"Roughly 48 pieces of flat work and whatever fits on the stands [for sculptures] is what we have to work with," said Tillotson.


Moore, a senior, won first place in the high school division two-dimensional photography category.


"[My picture] was actually a challenge for class. It was symmetry, [where you] had to [take a picture of] something that reflects, so I just did it with a mirror," said Moore.


Moore's picture was of her friends face with a mirror by her right eye reflecting solely her eyeball. Moore digitally modified the picture into black and white leaving only the reflected eye in the natural state of the color brown in the reflection.


This is Moore's first year in photography. Learning the different ways to take a picture and how to electronically edit and modify photographs on the computer helped her on her path she is planning on taking, she said.


"It was really great, because I want to be a photographer when I grow up, so now I can use [this art competition] as a reference to get a job," said Moore.


The participants in the competition receive county recognition and attend a formal award ceremony. The best of shows receive a gift certificate.


"[This competition] is like a professional art show," said Da La O.


The competition enables the students who participate to experience real-world criticism. It gives them the opportunity to express themselves by doing what they love to do: art.


Jessica VanOverbeke, a photography teacher at HHS, feels these competitions are a good thing for them because it makes them feel proud and enables them to see their work in a large format and receive awards for their effort they put into it.


"I think it's good for the self esteem and recognition for the hard work that they do," said VanOverbeke.