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Postcards From the Valley choose campus students

In the first year of competition, campus students participated in “Postcards from the Valley” project, benefitting The Fresno Art Museum, Dec. 10. From 1,800 entries, 20 winners were chosen, and out of those winners, two from FC were honored: senior, GeeHyun Park and 8th grader, Daniel Thao.

A panel of three local artists chose the final 20 to represent the Valley which will be on display for a month at the Fresno Art Museum. This local event is sponsored by the Fresno County Office of Education.

Students were to design a postcard to portray something important to them from the San Joaquin Valley. Thao chose to draw farm equipment in colored pencil because of its presence in his family and Hmong culture. Park chose to portray Fresno’s iconic arch “entrance to Fresno,” because she thought it represented Fresno well. The chosen notecards have been packaged to sell for a fundraiser benefitting the Fresno Art Museum where the cards will be on display until the end of January.

“When I heard my scratchboard was selected, it surprised me a lot, because I didn’t really think about it,” Park said. “I had no time due to college applications and tests, so the news made me really happy.”

Art teacher Sharon Scharf says she appreciates Park’s creativity and natural talent.

“Gee is a naturally talented artist who I learn from,” Scharf said. “I’m her coach, not her teacher. The Lord has given her a lion’s share of creativity.”

In addition to stress from college applications and tests, Park, like many other exchange students, faces other struggles of being in a foreign country away from her family.

“I draw stuff to relieve stress, and feel better and fresh about things- that’s how I got to love art,” Park said. “I didn’t draw as much as much as I do nowadays when I was in Korea, because after I moved to America I had no way to express myself to other people than my family.”

While Scharf considers herself a coach rather than a teacher, she enjoys being able to see students find new passions and talents through art.

“I enjoy the challenge of drawing out the creativity in students that they didn’t know was there,” Scharf said. “And it is a double blessing when their efforts are rewarded as in this competition. The credit goes all to the Lord- He is the author of all creativity, I am just the tool he is using to bring it out.

Much like Scharf’s appreciation for Park’s creativity, she also appreciates Thao’s dedication to quality.

“I wish Daniel’s work ethic could be bottled up and sold,” Scharf said. “He is such a delight to have as a student. He is a perfectionist and is willing to take the time to do things right. The string family values of the Thao family are apparent in Daniel and all of his siblings.”

Although Thao is an eighth grader, he used his personal experience to propel his passion for art. From the Hmong culture and strong family ties, Thao has been highly involved with the agriculturally rich Central Valley.

“I felt okay,” Thao said. “I mean I was happy, but I didn’t really think that much about winning. I drew a tractor, because my family farms. I like trying different things in art the most like scatchboard, painting and drawing.”

For more news about campus students, Eighth graders apply lessons to Constitution or read about Chris Chon’s overseas trip in Iraq trip provides sophomore with cultural understanding.

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