Talented student artists from the Long Beach Unified School District are currently on display at the 35th annual Norman Gottlieb Youth Art Show at the Alpert Jewish Community Center.
The juried art exhibition features paintings, drawings, photography, 3-D art and sculptures created by middle and high school students throughout the LBUSD.
Thirty-five years ago Norman Gottlieb, a past president of the Alpert JCC, established a special fund to underwrite the exhibition. The show is currently subsidized by Dr. Daniel and Nicole Honigman, both very involved with local youth participation in the arts.
“The Norman Gottlieb Annual Youth Art Show is a much-loved tradition among our student artists and art teachers in the Long Beach Unified School District,” Christine Whipp, LBUSD visual art curriculum leader, said. “Having their work recognized and installed in a professional, juried exhibition is truly a meaningful, life-changing experience for students. Hundreds of parents and family members, teachers and administrators also attend the annual awards reception, a real testament to the power of art to bring a community together.”
Judges for this year’s show include Larry Steinberg, with a national creative arts, educational and design background; Gregory Navarro Pickens, a veteran art teacher, involved with the Long Beach Intellectual Virtues Academy, a public muralist and an instructor at CSU Dominguez Hills; and Laurie Gatlin, art education faculty member at CSULB.
The judges will award prizes in two student age-group categories. Long Beach Unified art teachers Nicolas Kincaid (Long Beach Poly High School) and Erin Brady (Rogers Middle School) are this year’s recipients of the Honigman Award for Inspired Visual Education. The student whose creation is a favorite of the Center’s staff and members will receive the AJCC Directors Award.
The annual show represents a longtime collaboration between the Alpert JCC and LBCC. According to Shlomit Jackson, membership director, Alpert JCC, the show organization is a year-long process. The school district’s Christine Whipp contacts instructors and helps to get the art to the Alpert JCC. The center promotes the show.
“The art needs to be installed, which was a wonderful challenge this year, as we had a large number of 3-D art entered,” Jackson said.
The show has a dramatic impact on entered students. Two years ago, Elizabeth Sandoval was a Poly High senior enrolled in AP Studio Art when her photograph of a downtown Long Beach street scene was selected for the exhibit. When she came to the Alpert JCC for the awards ceremony, she saw a first place ribbon next to her photograph.
“I was really shocked,” Sandoval, now a Cal State Long Beach student and part-time receptionist at the JCC, said. “It felt really cool. I brought my mom and we took a picture of it. It was motivation.”
Sandoval said she applied for her JCC job in part so she could buy herself additional photography equipment.
A reception and awards ceremony open to the public will take place in the Center’s Pauline and Zena Gatov Gallery at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21. Awards will be placed on the selected artwork approximately one hour prior to the start of the reception. The awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. The student-led Take Two Jazz Ensemble will perform in the gallery during the reception.
The Norman Gottlieb Youth Art Show will be on display until March 1. Alpert JCC, 3801 E. Willow St., opens at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. weekends. It stays open until 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
For more information, call (562) 426-7601 or go to www.alpertjcc.org/index.php. The exhibit is free and open to the public.