The artwork of John Simeon, a 2011 graduate of Mira Loma High School, is featured in this month’s edition of Arts and Activities, a national arts education magazine.
Simeon, now studying at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, joins at least two other Mira Loma students recognized in the “Young Artist” pages of the magazine in recent years, said Allison Roberts, who teaches International Studies and International Baccalaureate art classes.
Simeon’s work is vivid and versatile. His images range from realistic to abstract, whether making traditional oil and canvas creations or developing haunting portraits with acrylic and wood. He has even built luminous flowers out of light bulbs, wire and stretched fabric.
“I have found that storytelling has been an important aspect of my life so far,” Simeon told the magazine. “Stories still hold their place in my heart and have also helped me form my own personal story as the years have gone by. To share it, I have come to rely on the magic of images to help me.”
Roberts had Simeon as a student for three years and said she saw a mature work ethic in the student early on.
“Jon recognized his passion for art within the IB art program and was dedicated from the beginning to continue to develop his style, skill and research connections,” Roberts said. “I am so incredibly proud of Jon, and I know he has an incredible future ahead of him.”
Click here to access an electronic version of the magazine’s January edition. (Scroll to page 32 to see Simeon’s artwork. )
Your work is very versatile. How would you describe your style and approach to art?
“I wouldn't say I have any particular style or approach to creating art at this point in my career. I'm still learning, so the way I create something varies from time to time. Mostly, however, it is inspired by some cultural aesthetic or epoch. In a way, things like these dictate the style and the forms presented throughout my artwork, and this, of course, ranges drastically. In terms of my approach to art this is as far as I go.”
What inspires you and your art?
“Narrative. I thrive off of stories. It's just something that I understand very well and is constantly on my mind. I really don't discriminate between sources of where the stories come from; I've appreciated stories in the form of music, poetry, history, mythology, novels, ballets, opera, theatre, fairy tales, biographies ... anything. I just really enjoy a good story. And one of my favorite things in the world is to share these stories with others. I've chosen to share stories with others using images due to the fact that it is the most dynamic way I personally can achieve my goals in sharing stories with others.”
Did your time at Mira Loma prepare you for college? How so? Are you able to build on what you learned in high school?
“My time in Mira Loma helped me organize my ideas, which I think has given me a slight advantage in how I approach my assignments at RISD. Thanks to the copious amounts of research that was required for the IB Art program at Mira Loma, I have managed to internalize a wealth of stories and concepts, which I still reference to while working on my RISD assignments. In addition, the IB Art program has helped me learn/deal with organizing what I want to say. Often times, it's really overwhelming for me to choose what I want to communicate, because sometimes I want to share everything I possibly can in one piece. IB Art at Mira Loma has prepared me by helping me choose what to say. Again, I am still in the process of learning all this, and thus being at RISD will further help me in my visual communication skills.”
How does it feel to get this kind of exposure at such a young age?
“I am glad that I am getting some recognition for my work, and it is very encouraging to know that there are people interested in it.”
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