Point Loma High School knows all too well the struggle of maintaining a strong arts presence in its curriculum when ample funding is not readily available for such programs. But in the face of adversity, the school continues to encourage the growth of performing and visual arts.
The school "“ in conjunction with the Point Loma High School Foundation and Alumni Association "“ will celebrate the arts Saturday, April 14, by inviting the community to see what students can create when give the time and means at school.
"We wanted to have an event on campus that would showcase the visual and performing arts talent of the students," said Pat Baker, foundation member in charge of fund development and events.
The visual and performing arts open house, which Baker hopes will become an annual tradition, will include ceramics, paint, theater and music as well as stop-action animation and graphic design.
While one goal of the event is to educate the public on the various artistic programs offered at the school, it also strives for increased participation and much-needed funding.
"For the elementary and middle school families, we want them to see what is waiting for their kids when they get to Point Loma High School," Baker said.
The open house "“ taking place at the school, 2335 Chatsworth Blvd., from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. "“ is free to the public, though a donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children and students is suggested. Proceeds will pay for the event's expenses, with the remainder divided among the participating groups.
Point Loma students enrolled in painting, drawing and ceramics classes will display their class assignments in the school's media center, while students involved in the school's fine arts club will also include work.
Also on display will be work from Point Loma alumni from across the country.
"The alumni are people who actually make their living as working artists," Baker said, adding that Dr. Joe Allen, who practices sports and family medicine, is also a working artist who will showcase his art at the school.
Baker is also receiving art from a former student currently residing in New York City and is working to get pieces from an alumnus in Hawaii.
A computer graphics class display in the media center will feature work on computers as well as a sneak preview of the stop-action animation club's first film.
In the performing arts sector, the Point Loma jazz and marching bands as well as smaller ensembles will perform throughout the quad "“ with one group performing in the space devoted to the much-anticipated new music center.
"This will be the actual first performance of our band in that space, even though it's not yet the music center," Baker said. The association is still working to raise an additional $350,000 before construction of the music center begins.
The school's choir will also perform as well as the Point Loma High School Thespians, a performance club on campus, with musical theater and some improv shows.
While not considered conventional art, the drill team will defend its craft with an artistic dance performance.
Students enrolled in film classes or involved in the school's film club will hold a mini-film festival in room 854, according to film teacher Larry Zeiger, who also helped this event come to fruition.
"He was really involved in the germ of this idea," Baker said of Zeiger. She explained that cooperation from the school's teachers and faculty made the association's seed of an idea grow into this creative event.
Zeiger plans to show six 5- to 10-minute films, all created by students or alumni, including "Backlash" by Torin Ladewig and "Shattered" by students Tyler Knell and Eric Louie. Students will also demonstrate the movie making process, including the use of storyboards and photography.
According to Zeiger, teaching arts at Point Loma often requires much more than just instruction.
"It's like two jobs "“ one is teaching and the other is raising money for your program. It's very difficult," Zeiger said.
Through his efforts, Zeiger has provided wireless headset microphones for the theater as well as film editing equipment for the film class and club.
With his retirement set for June, Zeiger plans to advocate for the inclusion of film programs in all high schools "“ and not just as an elective.
"[Film] should be integrated into all history and English classes, especially when we're working with the most visually oriented generation in the history of the world. To deny them access to this is criminal," Zeiger said.
Baker understands that the limited budget for art programs is not a new issue; however, she hopes the work displayed will inspire people to donate throughout the afternoon.
"If you see the talents of these kids, then that is even more of a motivation to be involved in trying to advocate for funding, for more classes," Baker said.