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New Righetti High Grad Christa Weston Earns Honors in Congressional Art Competition

Christa Weston
Christa Weston

The image of a boarded-up Santa Barbara County diner has made it to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, thanks to Christa Weston, a 2013 graduate of Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria.

On June 26, Weston will travel to Washington for a reception for winning California’s 24th District in the Congressional Art Competition. Her photograph captured a former diner that consists of two old train cars just off Highway 101 north of Buellton.

Weston, who will attend college in Long Beach in the fall, believes photography is special because everyone can relate to a photograph and it’s one of the best storytelling mediums in art.

“Art is my life,’’ said Weston, adding that she wants to be a museum curator. “I love how art is so much more than aesthetics. It’s about an artist having a conversation with the viewer through their work. I love it when my artwork can make a stranger feel or think something, even if what they are thinking wasn’t my intention.’‘

Weston began taking art classes at Righetti when she was a freshman, but started general art classes in elementary school.

Teacher Autumn Jennings, of the visual and performing arts department, said Weston has excelled from the start and used the Advanced Placement (AP) Studio class to print her photos on less typical materials such as fabrics and other experimental techniques, including photo emulsions, paint transfers and cyanotypes.

“It’s clear that this has really elevated her photography to a more artistic and less commercial level, and given her work new depth,’’ Jennings said. “I consider her work to be of professional quality, the highest compliment that can be given to a 17-year-old artist. She is exceptional.’‘

Weston’s photograph will be displayed at the Capitol for one year.

— Kenny Klein represents the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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