A vibrant acrylic painting on canvas illustrating a resplendent landscape. An eye-catching watercolor and thread piece depicting transformation.A unique mixed-media representation of Jesus’ journey to Calvary. These are just a few of the diverse artistic creations unveiled March 3 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles at the opening of the third annual Robert Graham Memorial Student Art Exhibit, featuring works by 70 students from 10 Catholic high schools in the archdiocese.Following the 10 a.m. Mass, Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, Cathedral pastor, welcomed the participating students and scores of parents, friends, art teachers, school officials and notable guests for a blessing ceremony for the new exhibit, which will run until May 1. The artwork is being displayed in the cathedral’s Art Chapel and in Chapel 8.Steven Graham, son of the late sculptor Robert Graham (who designed the Cathedral’s Great Bronze Doors) helped Msgr. Kostelnik present certificates to the students. He praised the yearly exhibit for supporting young artists, and expressed gratitude to all involved — Cathedral staff and school faculty — in launching and growing the program.“I think it’s fantastic that the Cathedral is promoting student artwork; it’s something that would make my father very happy,” Graham told The Tidings. “Hopefully everyone can keep expanding the program and we can have many years of this tradition at the Cathedral.”Gayle Garner Roski, chair of the cathedral’s Fine Arts Committee, said she hopes to do exactly that.“The goal is to [eventually] have all the Catholic high schools in Los Angeles represented,” explained Garner Roski. “We just have to create more wall space and more hanging systems in the Cathedral to put up more art — and we’re working towards that.”In 2012, six schools participated in the exhibit, with 10 student submissions from each. The 10 high schools taking part in this year’s exhibit of 70 pieces were Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Crespi, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Immaculate Heart, Louisville, Loyola, Marymount, Mayfield Senior School, Providence and St. Francis. “To honor art and to honor the spiritual and artistic expressions of every student artist is one of the goals of the Fine Arts Committee, and it’s such a great thing to do,” said Garner Roski. Krystal Orellana, 16, a junior at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary in Montebello, strongly agrees. She submitted an acrylic painting on canvas titled “Beauty of Nature Itself,” which depicts a colorful landscape that resembles stained glass — and represents the splendor of God’s earthly creations.“There are so many things [in the world] that are not man-made that are so beautiful,” she said. “That’s what inspired me to create this painting.”For 18-year-old Kyle Moreno, a senior at Loyola in Los Angeles, having his art included in the exhibit for three consecutive years has encouraged him to grow as an artist. His pieces, he explained, have evolved from abstract to more literal expressions of his faith.This year Moreno created a mixed-media piece (made of acrylic and industrial cardboard) titled “The Road to Golgotha,” which is an artistic depiction of an overhead view of the path Jesus walked to the top of Calvary.“To have my artwork displayed in the Cathedral has been incredible,” said Moreno. That sentiment is shared by Bianca Defilippi, 18, a senior at Louisville in Woodland Hills, who submitted a watercolor-and-thread work dubbed “Metanoia,” which represents metamorphosis — from that found in the simplicity of sunrise to the complexity of a lifetime. She said she found her artistic inspiration through prayer and spiritual reflection.“I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do, so [one night] I went to bed and asked God, ‘Please show me what you want me to paint,’” recalled Defilippi. Upon waking the next day, she was struck by the colors in the morning sky, in awe of this everyday transformation.“Every morning I watch the sunrise as I pray and meditate — and that’s what I painted,” she explained. “To me art is being able to project a moment through paint and paper — to make it tangible and capture the spiritual experience of being alive.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0308/studentart/{/gallery}