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Viri and Christian, two recent graduates of HOLA’s Visual Arts program, just returned from a two-week visual arts workshop at Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This is the eighth summer that HOLA has sent students to Penland and the experiences continue to be life changing for these young artists. Viri and Christian both signed up for a black and white film class. With only five students in the class, an instructor and an assistant, they came home with a huge collection of truly beautiful photographs. Viri had traveled to the east coast before (on a trip to NY with HOLA), but neither student had been to North Carolina, or in their words “any place as beautiful.” Both Christian and Viri said that the best part of the experience was meeting so many wonderful people from all over the country. Christian marveled at the fact that no one ever locked their doors and that when he accidentally left his phone unattended for several hours, when he returned to look for it, it was still there.

The excitement for Christian and Viri didn’t end when they left Penland. When they landed in Chicago to transfer planes, they discovered that their flight to LA had been cancelled. With lots of help from HOLA staff, they were able to get on a flight the next day and find a hotel at the airport. These two adventurous souls decided to make the most of the delay and took the train for a day of sight-seeing around Chicago. Viri and Christian both just graduated from high school and are heading off to college in the fall. Viri will be attending UC Irvine and will major in Education. After her trip to Penland, she is considering a career as an art therapist. Christian will attend Pasadena City College and has already begun work as one of HOLA’s Artist Mentors in Residence.

Thank you to Cathy and Alan Adelman for their long-time support and for establishing the Penland/HOLA student scholarship program.

 
 
 

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