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LET'S BE FRIENDS
My name is Avalon Lafosse and I am a senior in the Visual Arts Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts and the Founder and Creative Director of Art for Relaxation Therapy (ART). The primary mission of ART is to bring joy to kids and young adults in need through fostering artistic expression. ART donates ART Packs with access to online tutorials, and my enthusiastic team of student artists provide ART lessons and activities to kids in hospitals, shelters and at-risk community youth programs throughout Southern California. A vital component to the program is the opportunity for emotional support and friendship among its recipients. I have facilitated a true community of practice, with online ART Lessons and an inspirational Instagram page that enables participants to connect with each other, creating a unique ART space.
I was drawn to making art from a very early age and have always been encouraged by my parents to explore my interests in art history and creative curiosity. I believe that everyone has the ability to create and that making art can open channels to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Art connects us to history and our own humanity. It fosters empathy and the ability to “think outside the box” when faced with problems. The best way, for me, to describe all this is that art can set your soul free!
In addition to being a high school student, I am a member of the Visual Arts Leadership at OCSA and donate my work to the OCSA Gala each year. I create and sell art at the OCSA Winter Market and Annual Pumpkin Auction. In addition to these efforts, I have an ART GoFund Me page and website. I accept item donations for the ART Packs and am also happy to call on private companies to explain my mission and encourage them to become ART patrons. All of the proceeds from these many endeavors are used to make my ART vision a reality.
I am a member of the Visual Arts Leadership at OSCA, the National Honor Society, California Scholastic Federation, and French Honor Society. Through the founding of my school club, ART, I have assembled a team of student artists that support my program. These members create hand drawn “encouragement cards”, assemble ART Packs, and mentor participants at on-site ART lessons. Recently, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has commissioned me to design custom-tailored activities and ART “bags” for their out-patient program.
While my donation of time to make ART a reality is substantial, academics is also a priority. My current GPA is 4.50. I have been awarded several Visual Arts Conservatory awards including 'Most Creative', 'Most Talented', 'Most Artistic', and this year was honored specifically for my photography work and as the 'Outstanding Novelist' for the Creative Writing Conservatory.
Recently I was excited and extremely honored to be recognized as the inaugural Student Arts’ Leader for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. I intend to continue ARTS’ mission through college and as an adjunct to my professional career. My dream is that ART will someday expand to a national and global program that encourages support, connection, and joy through creative expression for children and young adults in need.
Two years ago, I was honored to be selected as a 2018 Dragon Kim Fellow. Over the course of a year, I was mentored by OC community leader and businessman, Martin Motessi. Motessi helped me to generate a business plan and taught me valuable skills to help further my organization. Through my mentor’s encouragement and contacts, ART Packs were provided to an orphanage in Guatemala. I was also the 2018 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, “HOBY” award recipient for OCSA. As the OCSA delegate, I was honored to represent my student body at the weekend seminar at Chapman University that brought together youth leaders from across Southern California. In June, I was accepted as a 2019 Junior leadership crew member for HOBY and look forward to meeting again with fellow youth leaders in my community. Recently, I was honored as the scholarship recipient and OCSA delegate to represent my school at the Youth Citizen Leadership Seminar at Pepperdine University and is excited at the opportunity to learn even more about ways to make positive change in the world around me.
As an artist, I express myself through a wide range of mediums. While my fine arts focus is conceptual, I love portrait painting too. I am an avid writer and I like to incorporate typography in my work, often weaving stories into my pieces. I have painted numerous private commissions and donates my fee to ART. I have completed three young adult novels under the mentorship of acclaimed author, Tim Powers, and hope to be published in the near future. I also play guitar and ukulele and enjoy writing and recording original songs. I love to translate my stories, music, and artwork into videography that evokes emotion though expressionist themes.
I have had the opportunity to attend high school summer art programs including: UCLA, NYU, Laguna College of Art and Design, and The Paris College of Art and Design. Leading up to 2020 I have been participating in shows, galleries and working on projects with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County. I plan to pursue a double major in Fine Arts and Literary Arts with minors in French and Art History. I am looking forward to earning a degree from one of our nation's top universities and hope to study abroad in Berlin and Paris.