Joann Shih 2012 COVER Contest Finalist

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Joann Shih, a junior at Mission San Jose High School, a public, co-educational, four-year secondary school located in the Mission San Jose district of Fremont, Calif., entered three oil paintings for the Creative Outlook Magazine cover contest. Her image of the Palace of Fine Arts took in hundreds of votes. The San Francisco structure has been part of the visual landscape for almost 100 years, including a run as an art exhibition venue. Joanna promoted her contest artwork by e-mailing her works and the link to the cover contest to her friends and relatives.

Joanna, studies with Jian Wu, a Chinese artist who came to the United States to study western art and eventually received his masters in fine art from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco. “I began painting at the age of 15,” she says. “The weekly classes with Jian Wu are private and so much fun. I have been taking lessons for two years. My par­ents also draw and my mom studied graphic design in Taiwan.” Joanna started with charcoal and moved to oil painting. Most of her still life works take about two months. The completed work hangs in the family living room.

At school, Joanna is part of the Ameri­can Cancer Society Club which raises money for cancer awareness and research. The annual events include hosting an annual breast cancer week and actively participat­ing in Relay for Life and other cancer walks. She is also part of MEDCORPS, a student organized health service club. “I also attend monthly lectures at the lo­cal hospital. I am interested in being a surgeon.”

During the school day, Joanna sticks with a rigorous course schedule. She takes three Advanced Place­ment classes and two honors. The full course load includes chemistry, statistics, pre-calculus, English, biol­ogy and a six class in United States history. Joanna, who is still researching col­leges and universities, wants to study biomedical sciences. “I want to stick with my art. It will be a hobby even if I go into medicine. It is a way to relax and a way to redirect yourself from daily stresses and find yourself again.”

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