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‘Voices of Compton’ Literary and Arts Journal Highlights Creative Talents of Compton College Students
By Sentinel News Service
Published June 7, 2019

Painting by Compton College student Jessica Barajas titled “Self Portrait.”

Each spring, Compton College students are invited to share their artistic and literary work completed during the academic year in the annual of Voices of Compton, a fine arts and literary journal published by the college. The 11th annual edition features student submissions representing the artistic and literary creativity of the Compton College community. The majority of this year’s submissions focus on art pieces; there are also two literary pieces and two poems written by students.

A Student Art Exhibition was presented this year on May 23, featuring the student artwork published in the 2018-2019 Voices of Compton. The exhibition showcased the talent of student artists at Compton College in a variety of media, including acrylic and oil painting; drawing with ink, charcoal, and graphite; cardboard, metal, and plaster sculptures; and digital artwork.

The front cover of the 2018-2019 Voices of Compton features Jessica Barajas’ painting titled “Self Portrait.” Barajas nurtured her passion for the arts and honed her talents while in high school. She received many awards for her artwork while attending Mayfair High School in Lakewood, including a first place recognition for advanced painting and drawing, and she ranked as a finalist in a district-wide art contest. At Compton College, Barajas has completed drawing, painting, and design courses in pursuit of her associate degree in art. She is also pursuing a certificate in jewelry design at El Camino College.

Carved plaster sculpture by Compton College student Stephanie Gonzalez titled “Whipped Cream.”

Barajas credits Compton College with helping to build her confidence in her artistic talent. “I have always struggled to show confidence in the things I do, but I found that if I never let people see what I can do, I will never truly know what I’m capable of,” she said. “At Compton College, I’ve had many great instructors who have all helped me when I needed it. The most important thing I learned is that I can always do better.”

Also featured within the journal are two sculptures by Ivan Mendez: “Relic,” made from carved plaster, and “Tower,” made from cardboard. Mendez says he takes his inspiration from the environment and his surroundings. “I’m inspired by the complexities and function of nature,” he said. “I couldn’t live without art; I see life itself as a work of art.”

Patricia Medrano’s featured sculpture, “Moon Lotus,” is made completely out of paper. While Medrano is passionate about art, she was hesitant to commit seriously because her parents voiced fears that it might not be the most beneficial path for her future. However, there came a time when she could no longer deny her passion and dedicated herself to developing her talent.

Cardboard sculpture by Compton College student Ivan Mendez titled “Tower.”

At Compton College, she met an inspirational instructor who pushed her to do better. Medrano learned to master different mediums in art, using her education and skills to grow as artist. She prefers to work with pastel, ink, watercolor, oil paint, and 3D design. “My parents now recognize my talent and have expressed their pride in my accomplishments,” said Medrano.

The artwork on the back cover of the journal is a sculpture by Stephanie Gonzalez. It is a carved plaster piece titled “Whipped Cream.” Gonzalez says her goal is to continue to improve her skills and be recognized within the art community. This year, she had the opportunity to show her artwork at the Student Art Exhibition, as well as the Compton Art Walk, a quarterly festival that offers a platform for artists and businesses to collaborate, network and showcase their talents, while driving economic support to the city of Compton.

Each semester two to three studio art courses are offered as part of the Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T) in studio art. Visit the Compton College website learn more about the art degree program: http://www.compton.edu/Academics/div2/art.

Carved plaster sculpture by Compton College student Stephanie Gonzalez titled “Whipped Cream.”

In addition, Compton College’s comprehensive, transfer-level literature and English and writing classes are offered each semester. More information about the English courses offered at Compton College is available online: http://www.compton.edu/academics/div3/humanities/EnglishCourses.aspx.

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