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.