The Bill Medley Auditorium hallway gets a fresh coat of paint
Through the Emmy award winning artist, Dionisio Ceballos, SAHS is embracing high art to exhibit in the foyer of the well-trafficked Bill Medley Auditorium, connecting to the artist village of Downtown as a destination for arts and culture in Santa Ana. The artist, who goes by Dio, plans to capture the pre-hispanic iconography of our local culture as shown in the attached, and will infuse the spirit, energy and imagery of the students, staff, parents and community who cross the threshold into this historic and distinctive school through a planned, yet intuitive organic process to really connect with the meaning of the oldest school in Santa Ana. As the principal, Jeff Bishop says, “As Santa Ana High School goes, so goes the city.”
Dio is well known for his work on the film "Frida"
Of his many credits, Dio worked on the film “Frida” which received 6 Academy-award nominations, including best art direction. Dio studied the techniques of Frida and painted all the Frida work represented in the movie. He exhibits some of his work at the esteemed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He is a multidisciplinary artist known for his murals, and is also a screenwriter and animated film artist. He works in the U.S. and Mexico and brings some of the unique color palette, imagery, and tradition so much a part of Mexican art and infuses it with his study of light and atmosphere to make his pieces current, relevant and timeless.
Dio's work holds deep meaning
Dio represents the meta-disciplines and entrepreneurial skill-sets required by artists today. His story is of a path that meanders from intent and, yet, magically and perfectly builds a unique skill set that allows one to meet the immediate and rapidly evolving demands of industry when they appear. He demonstrates the risk-taking required of creatives today and a willingness to say “yes” in the moment, equipped with the resources and grit to figure it out and not only succeed, but thrive. He is open and vulnerable, sharing his thoughts and process so that others can learn from his work and find their own voice within their own process. Through his work, he demonstrates the joy that art brings to visually stimulate thought and energy, stir emotion and conversation, and activate community. It’s another way of capturing the adage of, “If these walls could talk.” As the mural unfolds and takes on a life of its own, there will be much talking about this visual and literal transformation of Santa Ana High School to an arts-focused, arts-centered school in the process of developing an arts school within the bigger context of the school while ensconcing all students in an arts-rich visual environment, because the arts literally do touch all aspects of our lives, directly and indirectly.
Read more in the OC Register: "How Frida Kahlo and Jack Daniels led to a giant mural at Santa Ana High"
About SanArts at Santa Ana High School
Santa Ana High School (SAHS) is undergoing a transformation to celebrate the history and culture that reigns the halls of this iconic school while capturing the school’s rich heritage through visual culture. It’s a metaphorical representation of the work going on around SanArts, the next generation arts conservatory at Santa Ana High School.
Story by Robyn MacNair