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Artist of the Month – Olivia Fernandez

Olivia Fernandez is a senior at Santa Barbara High School who is currently in VADA. She is creative and passionate in what she does. Ever since she was little, Olivia realized she had an eye for art and she would continue to create it. At Santa Barbara Junior High, she took all the art classes available and continued to do so in high school. Olivia chose to join the Visual Arts and Design Academy here at SBHS freshman year because she felt drawn to the program and liked how all her classes incorporated art. 

All art pieces by Olivia Fernandez

Right now, Olivia is working on her senior thesis, which all VADA students complete. She comments that she is, “way too excited about it, especially because I am doing sculpture.” For her thesis,  she creates art of distorted and mutated animals. She says that, “The underlying theme [of her thesis] is taking back control of nature. I’m missing part of my jaw because of a tumor I had when I was eight, so the control I have over my paintings and sculptures represents the things that happened to me out of my control.” Control over nature is a central theme in the art Fernandez has produced so far, as one of her pieces portrays two dogs fused together with a mirror and clay sculpted around it. Olivia uses her imagination in all of her art and uses that as her inspiration. Her favorite piece she did in VADA was during her sophomore year when they used black and white charcoal, creating negative space using the brown charcoal. Between freshman year and now, her art “is better in terms of skill and also in terms of the thought behind it.”

Olivia loves being in a class with her peers, adding that her favorite memory from VADA was staying inside the classroom with all her friends on a rainy day. She continued to say that she loves how the teachers care for their students and “Talking like we’ve known each other forever.” In the future, she is planning on taking a gap year, going to university in Spain, where she is excited to immerse herself in Spanish architecture and Renaissance art, and going to Germany to receive special jaw surgery after college. She hopes to continue to do design-related work and sell her art in the future. In university she plans to major in business and minor in art. She has a bright future ahead of her in which she is able to control and will continue to add onto her creative imagination while studying abroad in Spain.

[Photo Courtesy of Olivia Fernandez]


  • Viviana Ruiz

    Viviana Ruiz is a junior who is from Santa Barbara. She likes to write in the forge because she is able to write what she is interested in.

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