By Christine Carpenter, Special to the Independent
Selling their work alongside 125 professional artists at this summer’s Art-A-Fair festival are two Orange County students, awarded with scholarships and the opportunity to exhibit by Laguna Beach’s Art-A-Fair Foundation.
The first-time recipients, Jared Sislin of Dana Point and Amanda Criss of La Habra, each already have developed their own unique styles, but share a passion for self-expression through a common medium, photography. Coincidentally, both plan to attend Orange Coast College to pursue their future aspirations; Jared plans on sticking with photography, while Amanda wishes to pursue another talent, the culinary kind.
Jared, 17, and a senior at Dana Hills High School this fall, has been enjoying the local beaches since he was a little guy—tagging along with dad and learning how to surf. Along with taking up the sport, Jared was fascinated with being behind the camera at a young age. Discovering his two passions so early in his youth, it should be no surprise that Jared found a way to combine them.
Initially, Jared’s interest was shooting images of his friends while they were surfing. However, it was there in the water, Jared realized his unusual vantage point. The view while inside the wave revealed images someone could only see while in the middle of all the action and impossible to capture from the sandy coastline. While inside the wave, Jared noticed different reflections caused by the natural change in light under certain conditions. The reflections the sun created were like hidden treasures, ones that could only be captured in fractions of a second before the sun’s angle shifts or a wave’s pulse ebbs and compresses its shape.
Jared is inspired to pursue his passion in photography and share his images because they allow people a viewpoint they may never have an opportunity to experience themselves, to gain a different perspective through his lens.
Amanda and Jared’s photos can be purchased at Art-A-Fair, 777 Laguna Canyon Road, or at the Art-A-Fair Foundation website. Prices for their work range from $5 to $20. Both students can be found working the festival at booth B4, on weekends in July and August, until the Festival ends.
The foundation gives young exhibitors a platform to cultivate future participation. “The Foundation’s mission is to encourage participation in fine arts by providing training and mentoring for artists of all ages and skill levels,” its website says.
Jared’s work can additionally be purchased in the San Clemente’s Mint Fine Art Gallery, 1409 N. El Camino Real.
Indy intern Christine Carpenter graduated from Chapman University.