Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Thanks to the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, exhibiting artists Molly Hutchings, Anthony Salvo, and Cheyne Walls were able to accomplish just that.
Since its inception in 1947, the Junior Art Exhibit has come to be regarded as one of the highlights of the Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show. Selected by art authorities from thousands of submissions representing schools throughout Orange County, works by over 300 students (PK-12) are on display in the Junior Art Gallery. The exhibit has become not only a showcase for new generations of young Orange County student artists, but also a vivid testimonial to the value and importance of continuing arts education in our school systems.
The artwork by Orange County students, grades PK-12, never ceases to inspire with its originality and obvious evidence of emerging talents. Watercolorist Molly Hutchings, oil painter Anthony Salvo and photographer Cheyne Walls remember their first showings in the Junior Art Exhibit many years back, and this summer, they’re all featured exhibitors in the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show.
When Molly Hutchings was a tenth grader in 1967, her art teacher at San Clemente High School submitted her first watercolor painting to be considered for exhibition at the Junior Art Exhibit at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. When she found out her painting had been chosen, it was not just a surprise to her; it was the first time she imagined that she could become a professional artist. Molly has been exhibiting and selling her paintings at the Festival for the last 20 years. She has also acted as a juror for the Junior Art Exhibit for the past 10 years, selecting the work of young artists.
Anthony Salvo has lived in Southern California since the age of twelve. That’s when he discovered oil painting. Always drawing and painting as a young child, he knew that art would be his vocation. When Anthony was 16 years old, his art teacher Richard Smith submitted his art work and it was selected to be in the Junior Art Exhibit at the Festival of Arts. “Because of this experience, I fell in love with the Festival, and always thought I might be an exhibitor one day. This summer will be my third time to be in the Fine Art Show,” said Anthony. He is also a juror for 2019 Junior Art Exhibit. His subject matters range from vintage cars to landscapes and he has been remarkably successful in painting competitions.
In 2000, when Cheyne Walls was a junior in high school, his photograph of a car’s wheel was chosen to be in the Festival of Arts Junior Art Exhibit. Five years later, he became a photographer for Motor Trend magazine. Then he began traveling the world photographing cars for several top automotive brands. It was during these trips that he fell in love with landscape photography. In 2012, he juried into the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Specializing in panoramic images of the Northern American landscape, he is now an international award-winning photographer.