April 29 is the International Dance Day, celebrating worldwide the art and expression of dance in all cultures. The International Dance Day commemorates the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet.
Melissa Guo 15 (yrs. old) takes us into a surreal world as she experiments with color in this digital artwork full of mystique and mystery. Her decision to use a split complementary color scheme creates an ethereal mood to take the viewer in a underwater adventure. Melissa is currently a sophomore and working on her illustration portfolio at WCAAD.
Vice Principal and Director of Education and of West California Academy of Art and Design
WCAAD (17-year-old) student Lucy Liu’s illustration demonstrate experimentation as she takes on a challenge in attempting to merge a 2D painting and a 3D construct. As discussed in class Lucy admired other student works that were grand and sculptural. Lucy wanted to shift her more conservative illustrations into something intimate and fun. As she researched and thought about material. She decided on a more modest scale and playful experience for viewers while breaking conventions of a traditional painting. This multi-dimensional art focuses on illusion, space, material and texture among other elements and principles of art and design.
-Omar Gallegos Vice Principal and Director of Education of West California Academy of Art and Design
WCAAD student Didi Fu (age 15) takes us into an intimate experience as her digital illustrations communicates a timeless cultural experience through the pictorial representation of food. Food is an exploration of culture! What we consume, how we acquire it, who prepares it, where we eat, and who eats with us is a form of communication, rich a cultural base. As we see in metropolitan areas especially in Los Angeles and China, we find commonalities and strengthen our bonds creating, inspiring and strengthen the bonds between individuals, communities, and even countries. We find a sense of identity with it. Didi Fu masterfully captures the allure of space, taste, smells, and other euphoric senses. She chose colors carefully creating mood and connection between father and daughter.
WCAAD student Kate Xiao, 9 years old， winning the 1st Place Award at the 2022 YCIA Youth Arts Festival
Congratulations to WCAAD student Kate Xiao, 9 years old, for winning the 1st Place Award with a prize of $50 at the 2022 YCIA Youth Arts Festival! Inspired by “The Thinker,” her winning artwork is titled “When Will Covid End?”
Kate is a resident of Texas and she started to take our online class two years ago. We have witnessed her improvement in art and she has won multiple awards for various art contests. She won the Senate Award at the 2020-21 Health Fair Drawing Contest and the Excellence Award a the 2020-21 LA Web Children’s Drawing Contest.
WCAAD provides enrichment online art program that is as rigorous and nurturing as in-person classes. The Academy continues to adapt the program and curriculum to offer new ways to have meaningful interactions with students to create innovating ways of thinking through the Arts and build self-expression, research and exploration.
Congratulations on the success of the 3rd annual World Autism Awareness Day Youth Art Exhibition!
Many people have heard of autism, but they have never been in contact with autistic children, let alone understand the world of autistic children.
Autism is a growing serious developmental issue and is affecting all parts of the world. Although there is no consensus for how best to address the condition yet, education can help autistic children become more independent.
“Drawing is one of the favorite activities for most autistic children.” Lei Wang, the Principal of West California Academy of Art and Design, speaks at the ceremony, “many parents have sent their autistic children to our school to take art classes. These children are very gifted and wonderfully creative.”
According to Lei, the autistic children produce extraordinary artworks to express their inner world and their feelings. Art creation opens up new worlds for autistic children and enriches their lives. “It has been such a joy to watch them make tremendous improvements in creating their own, unique art. In a word, art discovers joy in their own self and brings out the best in them.”
15 copies of WCAAD students award-winning artworks are selected by Lei and donated to the Exhibition.
The following two copies were bought by guests from the Exhibition.
Title： Sharing is Caring
Artist: Angie Li
This artwork won the California State 1st Place award at the 2020 Doodle4Google Art Contest.
Title：In the Sunshine
Artist: Caressa Siu
This artwork won the National 1st Place award at the 1997 Metlife Children’s Drawing Contest
“In the eyes of our school’s art instructors, the autistic children are no different from others,” Lei said, “we should treat autistic children equally, respect them, and protect their sensitivity and self-esteem, just like we do to all other children.”
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to designate April 2 as the "World Autism Awareness Day", aiming to bring the world's attention to autism and the tens of millions of people affected. From then on, more and more people have joined efforts in caring the autistic children, trying best to help them live a normal life.
Let's continue our commitment and work together to bring the lovely autistic children a better tomorrow!
WCAAD Student Angie Li won the California State 1st Place Award at the National PTA Reflection 2021-22
Congratulations to WCAAD Student Angie Li, 11 years old, won the California State 1st Place Award at the National PTA Reflection 2021-22 themed “I Will Change the World by…”
Angie’s winning artwork is titled “Believing.” In the description she wrote, “the key to change something starts with an idea that was outside of the box, an idea that is thought of as crazy. I believe I can change the world by believing in the idea, and then applying the concept and knowledge that I learn from school to make it possible. My schooling has introduced me to topics such as science, arts, ELA, and technology, which have all piqued my interest. I know that in the future I will be able to utilize my knowledge and skills in these fields to change the world for the better. What I want to say is, as long as you believe and dream that you can change the world, then one day it will happen. I aim to make the world a more welcoming place for all people, regardless of background or social status.”
WCAAD Principal and Students Receive Outstanding Art Education Achievement Award and Talent of Art Award
Lei Wang, the principal of West California Academy of Art and Design （WCAAD）, received the Outstanding Art Education Achievement Award from the Chinese Women’s Business Association of California (CWBAC) on March 26, 2022.
The year of 2022 marks the 50th anniversary for Lei Wang’s art education career. As a member of International Society for Education through Art (InSea), Lei has a half-century’s experience in children and youth art education.
Three WCAAD students--Daisy Wen, Carissa Zhang, Lawrence Zhao—received the Talent of Art Award from the CWBAC.
Daisy Wen，17 years old, “Birth”
Lawrence Zhao’s drawing is set against the background of the Great Wall of China, audiences of both sides with different races from various countries. All of them are holding their flags cheering on the athletes of their own country.
Lawrence Zhao, 11 years old, “Best Wishes for the Beijing Winter Olympics”
“What I want to express is that after more than two years of epidemic, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is not only a competition, but also a festival where people from all over the world gather together.” Lawrence said, “I have a wish that I can be a volunteer in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and be a Chinese guide for athletes from China, so that they can feel the warmth of their motherland in the United States.”
Carissa Zhang’s artwork expresses young people’s best wishes and aspirations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and interprets the motto of the Beijing Winter Olympics – “Together for a Shared Future”.
Carissa Zhang, 14 years old, “A Colorful Dream of Ice and Snow
“The Olympics serves as a unification, leaving behind animosity and grudges.” Carissa said, “The Olympics doesn’t just symbolize competition, it symbolizes togetherness and the connection of different cultures and races.”
“I came to a revelation: art wasn’t about accuracy—it was about discovering who you are, expressing who you are, and reconciling differences with mutual interests.” Carissa said.
Even though art might not be their career path, it’s actually something more. It will forever remain a passion of them, a way of constructing identity.
Art has transformed these children into more positive, well-rounded human beings.
Daisy Wen has recently received five college offers including Otis College of Art and Design with a scholarship of $18,000/year $72,000/4 years；Art Center College of Design；CCA- California College for Art with a scholarship of $16,000/year $64,000/4 years；California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)；University of California, Irvine (UCI).
Lei Wang is the founder of West California Academy of Art and Design, one of the most widely recognized and most professional youth art institutes in Southern California. She was recognized as Outstanding Art Educator by President George Bush’s Education Awards in 2001. She was the only Chinese awardee among 22 honorees for the 2018 22nd Senate District Women of Achievement and Emerging Leaders Award.
Lei Wang started her art teaching career in China as early as 70s of the 20th century. She founded West California Academy of Art and Design in 1996 after she immigrated to the U.S. Led by Lei for almost 30 years, West California Academy of Art and Design has been transforming students into confident, creative artists and designers who have gone on to have successful careers in their chosen field.
In addition to offering art education programs for children, Lei has also been continuously taking time and efforts to provide voluntary public service for the community. In and out of our Art Academy, she worked to establish programs for students so they could perform approved community service. During the past 20 years, Lei, her students and her staff members have collectively contributed more than 5,000 hours to domestic and international public service, providing voluntary art education and art programs for children and families, e.g. bookmark designing, coloring contest, face-painting, pin-making, etc.
Most notably, the Academy has a long history of preparing students for college. The students have been admitted into the finest universities in the world. They successfully achieve their dreams of attending the universities and Art Colleges of their choice. It is because students attend the Academy that they have been accepted to Yale, Harvard, UCLA, USC, Cal Poly, Art Center College of Design, OTIS, RISD and so many other colleges and universities. To date, more than 10,000 students have graduated from the Academy and earned acceptance to prestigious colleges and universities, many of them awarded with scholarships. West California Academy of Art and Design has officially become a WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accredited school since July 6, 2017.
“Meaning so much to me and the Academy, this award will validate the high quality of the work we do promoting art and education in the community, giving me a huge boost to make greater contribution to the society！”Lei Wang said.