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May 24, 2005 > Introducing Garrett Santo

Introducing Garrett Santo

by Arathi Satish

Garrett Santo has received national recognition for his remarkable ceramic sculptures and was awarded the title of California State Art Scholar in 2003. Santo is not a globe-trotting artist traveling to Paris and back - he is a senior at Irvington High School.

His interest in ceramics started in fourth grade when his family owned a ceramics studio, The Clay Canvas, in Fremont. There he learned about glazing, painting and sculpting and even taught these skills to customers. Santo began sculpting because he enjoyed working with his hands said he was inspired by the artistic vision of his mother and the engineering skills of his father.

As an artist, Santo feels that larger sculptures have more impact than smaller ones. When he sets out to create a sculpture, he said, he does not know how that piece will turn out or what exactly it will be. He pointed out that he sometimes starts working on a particular piece when he is stressed and it helps him to "cool down." He works on it until it is finished, sometimes working at a stretch of more than 10 continuous hours.

Careful examination of Santo's work reveals his powerful imagination. The young sculptor added that his pieces express his moods. He uses coils of clay and objects like rocks and sticks to create patterns. Santo said, "Every sculpture means something to me. It is based on people and their influence on me. When a sculpture breaks, I know that I have the ability to make it again." Situations like friends moving away, social happenings, the way people affect each other and, sometimes, even tigers can be his inspiration.

The high school student has displayed his work in numerous shows and noted that at least one piece is damaged each time he has an exhibit. He takes things like this in stride and looks ahead to a future filled not only with art, but an education, too. Santo, who will be attending UCLA in the fall, is planning to major in fine arts and continue sculpting, but is determined to acquire a strong academic background, as well.

He stressed, "Art is a much needed part, but not my whole life. Art is incredible on its own, but I will apply art to improve things in life. I feel there is a purpose and reason for what I am doing."

Garrett is the recipient of the Olive Hyde Art Guild Art Scholarship that is sponsored by the city of Fremont Parks and Recreation Department and the Olive Hyde Art Guild. The Olive Hyde Art Gallery's next exhibit "Vaguely Familiar" begins with an opening reception on May 27 and runs through June 25. The presentation of the OHAG Art Scholarship will be held during the reception. Santo's art will be on display that day. Olive Hyde Art Gallery is located on 123 Washington Blvd. in Fremont. For more information, call (510) 791-4357.

Vaguely Familiar art exhibit
May 27 through June 25
Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd., Fremont
(510) 791-4357

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