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Italian art inspires WPBHS artist

January 16, 2019

Italian art inspires WPBHS artist

By Haley Chambliess

Cristina Saldana, senior at West Point-Beemer High, is known for her artistic skills. Saldana’s most recent artwork is singer Paul Anka. “I decided to draw him because I love his songs and also because he’s pretty cute,” said Cristina.

Although many artists have different styles, Cristina’s is very unique. She finds herself looking at things and wondering how she would draw them.

When Cristina was 5 years old, she started using markers and drawing faces. To this day, she looks for common facial expressions on people such as smiling, smirking or laughing and tries to incorporate them in her art.

Cristina explained her masterpiece, “I started first by sketching all the main components of his face, then did smaller details. Lastly, I shaded which makes my art more realistic. This whole process took two and a half months to accomplish.”

For education, Saldana will finish all the art classes the school has to offer. Currently, she is in Independent Study with the Art 3 class but is mainly working on projects WPBSH art instructor Craig Schmidt has assigned or projects that other teachers request such as home interior decorations and set designs.

For home interior designs, Cristina has painted three large canvas panels with different colored shapes to match teachers’ other home decorations.

Schmidt admires how dedicated and hard working Cristina is when completing her projects. He also thinks that she can go very far with the talent she has.  

When Cristina travels to Mexico, she admires the culture and history which made her realize how other parts of the world are so vastly different.

Last summer, Cristina traveled to Italy with other WPBHS  students. “When I heard about the Italy trip, I just knew that I had to go” said Saldana.

Saldana added, “I decided to go because of how different the country is; I thought going on this trip would be a great opportunity to see the world.”

In Italy, Cristina saw art in the Sistine Chapel Museum which affected her perspective on her own drawings. There, Cristina admired the sculptures and paintings. She was really inspired by how realistic the Italian art was and hopes her future art will be recognized too.

After high school, Cristina plans to major in language and speech pathology and teach English abroad (preferably in Spain and in Italy). She’d rather have art as a hobby knowing that pursuing art as a job is a difficult task.

Cristina’s inspiration is Michelangelo and his sculptures. Even though it’s not the same type of art as hers, she looks up to him by how realistic he makes his sculptures. She wants to do the same in her own drawings.

Over the years, Cristina has achieved many awards such as a 3rd place at the East Husker Conference competition, Most Creative Art Award and Artist of the Year.

Although her plans do not include attending art school, her passion for art that she creates at West Point-Beemer will always be remembered.


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