The year of 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Principal Ms. Lei Wang’s career in children’s art education. The Chinese American Education Association recognized Ms. Wang with the Art Education Achievement Award for her half-century of excellence in art education. Dr. Marina Tse, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. Department of Education Ministry, and Fang Shuqiang, the California State Congressman, presented the award certificates to Ms. Wang.
From left：Chinese American Education Association President Robert Liu，Ms. Wang Lei，CA Congressman Fang Shuqiang, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. Department of Education Ministry Dr. Marina Tse and her husband
Ms. Lei Wang is a member of International Society for Education through Art (InSea). 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.
Senator Ed Hernandez presenting Ms. Wang with the Women of Achievement and Emerging Leaders Award
“I am glad that I have been focusing on just one thing during the past 50 years, that is, teaching children art.” ---- Lei Wang
2011: Ms. Wang and her students celebrating the New Year together after class
"Teaching children art is not an easy job. Every day we face different children, and each child is different. A good art teacher can stimulate the interest in art for children who don’t like drawing or fear to draw. Instructed properly, children can even produce exceptional artworks beyond their age. "---- Lei Wang
2016：Ms. Wang cheering on the contestants at the Little Angle Live Drawing Competition
Between the 1970s and 1980s, Ms. Lei Wang has been engaged in children's art education in Hefei, Anhui Province, China. In 1996, she founded Wang Lei Art Studio in San Gabriel, and the studio was expanded in 2004 changing the name to West California Academy of Art and Design. Led by Ms. Wang for almost 30 years, the Academy has continued to grow with the many cultural and technological landmarks of the new century while refining its educational tools and methodologies to remain on the forefront of art education.
1988: Ms. Lei Wang teaching children art at China Hefei Children's Palace
2016： Ms. Wang was invited to the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese 60th Anniversary Commemorative activities in Beijing
2014: Ms. Wang recognized by Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez for her dedication to art students
During the past thirty years since 1996, Ms. Wang has witnessed her more than 5,000 students winning top honors in art competitions occurring across the globe. Most notably, Ms. Wang’s 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, Princeton, UCLA, USC, Art Center, OTIS, RISD and so many other colleges and universities. The Academy helps young people to stand out from the crowd of applicants by showing them how to express themselves in a unique way, and build up the stepping-stone for our youth to reach their full potential.
1997：Ms. Wang and her student winners at the MetLife Drawing Contest Award Ceremony
2013：Ms. Wang and her student winners Jessica Luo and Jessica Fung at the Drug Awareness Poster Design Contest Award Ceremony
2016：Ms. Wang and her student Eric Chang at the Doodle4Google Logo Contest Award Ceremony. Eric won the California State 1st Place
Eric Ng started to take Ms. Wang’s art class at the age of 11. He won numerous awards at various national and international art contests such as the 1st Place at the MetLife Drawing Contest in 1995 and the 4th Prize at the First Disneyland Children Fantasy World Drawing Contest in 1997, as well as the 1st Place at the LA Web Drawing Contest in 1999.
He earned acceptance to his dream college Art Center College of Design--Product Design in 2003. He has been teaching at Art Center College of Design since his graduation.
"The things we learn in drawing could be good for art major, but they're also good for other areas of life. Ms. Wang’s art school puts me through a process where my character, creativity, passion and endurance are constantly improved. Teachers not only help students improve with their drawing skills but also teach them the importance and joy of creating their own unique artwork. I am here to present all my thanks to Ms. Wang who taught me to become a creator instead of a copyist.” ----Eric Ng
The sibling students Sen Lin and Lin Lin took Ms. Wang’s art class at a very young age.
Sen Lin, the brother, was accepted by Yale University in 2012. He worked in an investment bank and a private equity institution on Wall Street after graduation. In 2020 and 2021, he was admitted to Harvard Law School and Wharton Business School pursuing dual degrees of JD and MBA.
Lin Lin, the sister, earned acceptance to the prestigious Wesley Women's College in 2015. After graduation in 2019 she was sent by the college as a "Wesley Yanjing Scholar" to the oldest women's college in China - Jinling Women's College of Nanjing Normal University to teach foreign language.
“Thank you for helping my son and daughter get accepted by top universities. I sincerely hope you can help more young people go to their dream colleges. Your art program can greatly enhance their chances of success in admission. Moreover, the skills they have learned from your program will not only improve their aesthetics, temperament, and knowledge, strengthen their skills in artistic expression, but also build up stepping-stones to reach their full potential in life. If I have grandchildren in the future, I will send them to your school to learn art, too. Thanks again!” ---- Sen Lin and Lin Lin’s father
"Diane Chiang is a student I taught twenty years ago. Now she is a senior industrial designer of Boeing in Seattle. She comes to see me when she returns Los Angeles for vacation. Diane began to learn art with me at the age of 7 in 1998. Ten years later, she was admitted to her dream college Art Center College of Art and Design majoring in Industrial Design. Her graduation design project was highly praised by her professors and selected as the outstanding artwork for Art Center exhibition in 2008. She is really an overachiever and I’m happy to see her accomplishment at such a young age! "---- Wang Lei
"Amazing! At a Rancho Cucamonga social event I came across Zhang Hong, a student I taught forty years ago in China, and Zhang Hong's son Peter, who was also a student I taught in the United States! Peter was admitted to Princeton University in 2016 majoring in Applied Mathematics. Two generations! Both the mother and son were my students! Zhang Hong said that if Peter has children in the future, she would send them to learn art with me too, making it a Three-generation-legend! "---- Wang Lei
In addition to offering art education programs for children, Ms. Wang has also been continuously taking time and efforts to provide voluntary public service for the community. In and out of our Art Academy, she has worked to establish programs for students so they could perform approved community service. Currently, she serves as a volunteer neighborhood coordinator working with a number of state and non-profit agencies. During the past twenty years, Ms. Wang, her students and her staff members have collectively contributed more than 6,000 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.
2017: Ms. Wang offering free art class for Temple City Girl Scouts 8851
2022: Ms. Wang helping for fund-raising at the 3rd annual World Autism Awareness Day Youth Art Exhibition
2018: Ms. Wang recognized by San Gabriel Mayor and the City Council for her volunteer services to the El Pavo Community Mural “Bread of Life”
2022: Ms. Wang and her students providing voluntary service for Love for Peace activities aiming to help Ukraine children suffered in the war
When the unprecedented epidemic storm came, Ms. Wang gave a helping hand without hesitation. Since February 2020, she has been providing financial support to all levels of society in various ways.
In February Ms. Wang joined the overseas Chinese donation team led by the American Chinese Experts Association, donating medical supplies to the anti-epidemic frontlines in China.
In April after the epidemic outbreak in the United States, Ms. Wang actively joined various groups to continue the donation activities, including: on April 4 joining American Chinese Experts Association donating N95 masks to the San Gabriel Police Department and the Fire Department; On April 11 joining US Zhe Jiang General Chamber of Commerce donating masks to the community; From April 13 to 17, joining Chinese American Political Action Committee donating medical supplies to the Huntington Hospital; In 2022 joining the Hope Lions Club making a cash donation to the San Gabriel Police Department.