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‘Growing Up Chinese American,’ Student Art On Display

Through Aug. 31, patrons and visitors of the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library can enjoy an exhibition of award winning student artwork in the library’s first floor main lobby.

The exhibition is made up of entries from the “Growing Up Chinese American” art contest, hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.

The artwork was chosen for the library’s July/August “Artists of the Month” exhibit as part of an on-going collaboration between the library and the Alliance started when Bruggemeyer Senior Librarian Cindy Costales was inspired by the Alliance’s centennial calendar of student artwork. According to Winston Wu, the group’s vice-president, Costales wanted something for the library “that was not too costly but lively.”

Winning artwork by Pinkie Kwan.

In May, the Los Angeles chapter of the Alliance celebrated its centennial by hosting a similar art contest with the theme of Chinese New Years, which was also exhibited at the library.

The “Growing Up Chinese American” art contest started in 2007 and includes the students’ perspectives on the everyday matters in their lives, from childhood games to family gatherings, school and festivals.

Wu said that the quality of the artwork, even from the kindergartners is something to behold. He said that the various subject matters in the artwork, from detailed computer screens to the scene of a lotus festival show that “there’s a variety of what [the children] think about” in response to the contest’s theme and their own lives.

With such a focus on their own youth, its no surprise that the library’s younger patrons really love the artwork, Costales said.

“Youth look at it and they go grab their parents to look at it with them,” she said.

The Artist of the Month program was established by Friends of the Monterey Park Library and the Monterey Park Art & Culture Commission.