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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Eileen’s expressive art at city hall

Provided by Kim Rohrs
MAYOR’S CHOICE: Vice Mayor Larry Agran, Mayor Farrah Khan and award winning sophomore Eileen Zhang pose at the opening reception of the Irvine City Hall High School Art Exhibition.

The slow scratch of colored pencil filled the room as sophomore Eileen Zhang added the finishing touches to her piece. A highlight here, darkening the shadow there and it’s complete. Weeks later, Zhang’s expressive portrait piece would be featured at the Irvine Fine Arts High School Art Exhibition at City Hall.

The exhibition showcased rising artists across IUSD and recognized eight distinguished Northwood students with awards at the opening reception on April 27, including Zhang, who won the Mayor’s Choice award for her colored pencil artwork titled “Mine.” 

“I was very surprised and grateful when they announced I won the Mayor’s Choice Award,” Zhang said. “The piece was actually inspired by my sister, who got me interested in the theme of sharing.”

As part of an expressive portrait project for Northwood’s Portfolio Prep class, “Mine” portrays children’s tendency to be selfish and withhold precious objects. 

Using her younger sister’s protective nature as her subject, Zhang depicts a young girl holding a candy and wearing a sweater with the word “mine” across it. 

“Mine” was one of two artworks by Zhang chosen for display at the exhibition, along with “Bound,” an acrylic and yarn piece that Zhang created for Portfolio Prep’s “Ordinary to Extraordinary” project. 

“Since coming to Northwood, she has always been really strong in realism,” art teacher Kim Rohrs said. “But now, she’s really branched out a lot, exploring different mediums and styles. She’s putting more expression and meaning into her artwork.”

Zhang began her artistic journey as a freshman at Northwood. In the past two years, she has seen tremendous growth, taking art classes in her free time and exploring portraits as well as other mediums and subjects. She hopes to pursue an art degree in college and to continue exploring her passions through more advanced classes at Northwood like AP 2D Art and Design.

“Art is a means of self-expression and a way to depict the world around me,” Zhang said. “As I continue to pursue art, I hope to continue to improve myself and have my art make people smile.”

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About the Contributors
Shreya Aithal
Shreya Aithal, Staff Writer
Shreya Aithal is a Northwood junior and staff writer for the Howler. She loves to aggressively float in water and dance and she naps whenever she can. She can typically be found at school until at least 5 p.m. so if you ever need company, she'll be there, but she might be spreading at a pitch only dogs can hear or drowning in bio notes.
Hannah Liu, Staff Writer
Hannah was taken into custody for the destruction of her sleep schedule and now writes articles for the Howler to pay off the damages. When she's not sneaking off to Narnia or getting lost in a book, you can probably find her playing with her German Shepherd, drinking boba and thinking about everything. Or searching for her many lost water bottles.

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