Alverno High School Celebrates AP Art Students at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Steven Graham, Julia Fanara, Tim Lewis, Isabella Dominguez Gayle Roski, Emma Andres, Cynthia Lee and Msgr. Kevin Kostlenik

On Sunday, January 24 four Alverno High School students had their artwork blessed and unveiled at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels as a part of the Robert Graham Memorial Student Art Exhibit. The exhibit features artwork from students at different high schools throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Members of the community are invited to view the artwork at the Cathedral, which will be on display through Lent.

Click here to view more photos of the event.

“Honoring art through the spiritual and artistic expressions of every student artist is one of the goals of the Cathedral Fine Arts Committee,” explained Committee Chair Gayle Garner Roski.

The exhibit is named in honor of the noted sculptor Robert Graham, who designed the Cathedral’s Great Bronze Doors. Steven Graham, son of the late sculptor who died in 2008, said, “I think it’s fantastic that the Cathedral is promoting student artwork. It’s something that would make my father very happy.”

Seniors Emma Andres, Isabella Dominguez, Cynthia Lee, and Ciara Madigan were all chosen to participate in the exhibit as members of Alverno’s Advanced Placement Studio Art course as well as members of the National Art Honor Society. Each of the students was asked to create a piece of art which reflected her own spirituality.

Emma Andres’ work “Purple Serenity” was completed with watercolor and pencil. “When thinking of my own spirituality, I imagine peacefulness and a calm atmosphere,” said Emma. “To delve into these feelings, I explored the works of Georgia O’Keefe. With O’Keefe as a guide, I experimented with the peacefulness of succulent photography. Once I found the shot I wanted, I inverted its original green color, giving it a sort of purple serenity.”

For her piece, Cynthia Lee chose to use pencil to create a piece called “Nature in Tromp-l’oeil.” “I find spirituality in looking closely at nature,” Cynthia said. “My art is influenced by human and animal anatomy, biology, and the natural sciences. By looking at the world through a scientific lens, I feel a greater connection to a spiritual center. This drawing is an attempt to bring my love of drawing and science together.”

“Dandelion” by Isabella Dominguez was drawn with conté crayons and colored pencils. While creating her piece Isabella shared the thought behind it, “I believe that an important part of spirituality is the presence of hope and the desire for better things for ourselves and those around us. Not only is it part of our culture, but part of our own personal need for comfort. The dandelion, for me and for others, is a primary symbol of a wish or a dream. Similar to a person’s dream, they may not mean anything to anyone else, but they do have meaning to some.”

Finally, “Your Hands” by Ciara Madigan was a cepia photo taken using a digital camera. Ciara reflected on her piece and said, “I believe spirituality comes from within as well as from the people around you who have a positive impact on your life. This work is spiritual to me because it emphasizes the relationship between me and my siblings. Both of my siblings have special needs but they have always been one of my greatest support systems. My younger sister recently died, but my older brother and I still keep a strong relationship with each other and her.”

“We are proud to support the tremendous talent of our Catholic high school students,” said Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, Cathedral Pastor. “Visitors to the Cathedral have enjoyed and celebrated these wonderful works of art and self-expression by our featured young artists over the last few years. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to enjoy these student’s inspirational works.”

“The thoughtfulness, talent, and passion that these young women put into creating their art for this exhibit is a testament to their commitment and love of the arts. Alverno High School is incredibly proud of these young women for the beautiful works they have created,” said Julia V. Fanara, Head of School. “Emma, Isabella, Cynthia and Ciara are not only talented artists but incredible scholars whose academic excellence and artistic endeavors have been recognized as members of the National Art Honor Society. Alverno is thrilled to have their art on display in the Cathedral and thanks the Cathedral Fine Arts Committee for this opportunity.”

About Alverno High School

Alverno High School is a progressive Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women dedicated to preparing them to function in a society as informed, knowledgeable persons, who have the requisite skills to make and implement mature decisions about complex problems. Enlivened by the spirit of its Immaculate Heart Community sponsors, and mindful of the Franciscan roots of its founders, Alverno’s program—academic, spiritual, aesthetic, social, and physical—is shaped by the staff, trustees, and students in light of the world for which the students are being educated. Alverno’s mission is to empower each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be and since 1960, Alverno has empowered more than 4,500 women to meet that goal. For more information about Alverno High School, please call (626) 355-3463 or visit



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