By Abbey Snow
Virgin Valley High Art Students – Creatively Successful
Virgin Valley High students in art and photography classes have been busy putting their creativity to work with displays at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center to submitting photos for postcard contests with the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum.
Tyler Roylance has been the art and photography teacher at Virgin Valley HIgh School for six years. He also teaches English as a Second Language classes for parents at VVHS. Additionally, he teaches weekly art classes for adults at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center.
“We had artwork hung in the public library from November 2021 until January 2022,” Roylance said. “ We also had the student’s art displayed at the local art gallery during the month of March. I have worked with Elspeth Kuta at the Heritage Museum with photo projects over the years for our students. Elspeth has the community vote on their work and we give rewards to the top students. This year we made postcards for the Heritage Museum and the top three cards are being sold there.”
The winners of the postcard competition this year were from the Virgin Valley High School Photography class. The winners were: First place – Jessica Rosas; Second place – Yaleni Landeros; Third place – Haylee Ritter.
“I am very proud of students that go the extra mile to challenge themselves,” Roylance said “ The photography classes have been a CTE (college credit) course and will be until next year. Where I split my time between art and photography, my CTE completers are always a small group. The students that I currently have that have completed all the CTE requirements are Liliana Jimenez, Elizabeth Glammeyer (who is also working on an AP 2D Design Portfolio), Nayeli Andrade, and Leieste Macias. There is still time and I have a handful that I hope will join those ranks as well by the end of the school year.”
Roylance also has the largest group of AP (advanced placement) art students he’s ever had this year with 21 AP students. In previous years he had from two to six students per year in AP classes. Currently his AP students are putting together their art portfolios.
“These kids are asked to do difficult artwork to show their skills with multiple mediums,” Roylance said “ They take my critiques and show revision and improvement as well as put together two portfolios of their works and write about them.”
Roylance had two groups of students ( 62 total) that worked together on a big project with painting a depiction of Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night.’ The painting was displayed in the Mesquite Fine Arts Center in March.
Some of the students that worked on that project are: Matthew Ritz, Leslie Torres, Barret Lamirand, Martin Cordero, Gaby Villegas, Kali Evans, Liam Gutierrez and Emma Avila.
Matthew Ritz is a student in art class who painted a part of the Van Gogh project. He likes drawing scenery because it feels really open and you can always add to it. He feels he has experienced a lot of improvement over the past year with his art. He recalls participating for the first time in ‘Art Sense’ in elementary school.
“Art helps me relax and think about what I want to do. It helps me assess what’s going on,” Ritz said.
Leslie Torres is a student in art class who painted a part of the Van Gogh project. She likes to paint and use clay to create sculptured art.
“I like clay because I can put my time into detail, and with it in 3d I can see perspective from every side. Art for me can be a hobby where I focus. When I focus on something nothing else matters, and everything else goes away and I can relax,” Torres said.
Barret Lamirand is a student in art class who painted a part of the Van Gogh project.
“I prefer pencils because I can fix my mistakes and if I am satisfied with it I can go over it with ink,” Lamirand said. “ I feel like I have improved over the years. Art is more like a hobby to do when I am bored,”
Martin Cordero takes art and photography classes and painted a part of the Van Gogh project.
“ I like to take pictures because for me I don’t draw well so it is easier to express myself with a camera,” Cordero said. “ Art is a good way to express yourself. It’s a good get- away.”
Gaby Villegas is in both art and photography classes and painted a part of the Van Gogh project.
“There is something about photography that is so beautiful to capture a moment in time in an image,” Villegas said. “ It brings me happiness and gives me something to do in my free time. Photography helps save memories for when I am older.”
Kali Evans takes art class and painted a part of the Van Gogh project.
“ I like to work in acrylic paint because I can take my time and layer it,” Evans said. “ I think art is pretty swag”
Liam Gutierrez is a freshman in art class who painted a part of the Van Gogh project and won a local art competition in his hometown.
“I prefer pencil or digital work, however watercolor is also very fun,” Gutierrez said. “I often get a lot of compliments on my art, and I’ve also had some of my art displayed in the local Library.This class helps reduce stress and pushes me to do what I love. Normally school isn’t the most enjoyable for me, but my art class gives me a chance to have a break and continue on with my day feeling happy and refreshed.”
Roylance has a group of photography students who put together a “Cars” show display for the Mesquite Fine Arts Center in March.
Erikah Gutierrez is a junior who takes photography level 3 and AP Art. She submitted a photo for the “Cars” show display for the Mesquite Fine Arts Center in March.
“Art and photography doesn’t help me, It helps others!” Gutierrez said.
Maya Alonzo takes photography level 3 and studio art. She submitted a photo for the “Cars” show display for the Mesquite Fine Arts Center in March.
“I prefer painting,” Alonzo said. “ It helps with my stress.”
Citlala Gutierrez takes photography level 3 and AP Art. She submitted a photo for the “Cars” show display for the Mesquite Fine Arts Center in March.
“ I prefer drawing because it gives me time to relax, “ Gutierrez said.
Haylee Ritter takes photography level 2 and studio art class. Her entry for the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum postcard competition won third place. Although her photography won in the postcard contest, she prefers drawing and feels it helps her achieve more and better her skills.
Emma Avila is a sophomore and takes photography level 2 and art classes. She painted a part of the Van Gogh project and submitted a photo for the “Cars” show display for the Mesquite Fine Arts Center in March.
“I like to do surrealism and minimalism in photography,” Avila said. “ For art I generally like to do conceptualism and surrealism.”
She plans on entering her artwork with the Virgin Valley Artists Associacion’s displays and competitions held at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center. VVAA memberships are offered to high school students.
“I have handfuls of kids in every class that fill me with pride and hope for the future because they are making the most of their lives and what I ask of them,” Roylance said.
Tyler Roylance’s art students that painted a part of the Van Gogh project ( Photo Credit: Tyler Roylance)
The’ Van Gogh – Starry Night ‘ finished painting alongside the “Cars” show on display at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center ( Photo Credit: Tyler Roylance)
Winners of the postcard competition: ( Left to right) 1st place – Jessica Rosas, 3rd place – Haylee Ritter, 2cd place – Yaleni Landeros ( Photo Credit: Tyler Roylance)