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[proof] palo alto high school spring 2014

spotlight 10

anna mcgarrigle andrew chow yi ge photojournalism forum

the arts 22

new age of photography the revival of film youth speaks out music of palo alto

gallery 40

scholastic awards student work

[proof] 2014

photograph by Conner Harden

about Published once a year, [proof] is Palo Alto High School’s fine arts magazine. Our production covers all aspects and mediums of art, featuring local, national, and international artists. Our mission is to showcase student talent and promote freethinking in the minds of students.

editors-in-chief Nikki Freyermuth Vivian Laurence Gleb Promokhov

letter Hello readers! Thank you for supporting the 2014 annual edition of Palo Alto High School’s [proof] Magazine. Our team has worked hard to create a collection of articles and photographs that aim to inspire our readers to be creative. This year, our theme is the new age of photography. From advancements in social media and smart phone technology to the revival of film, today’s photographic techniques allow anyone to be a creative innovator. Read on and be inspired. Sincerely, The Editors-in-Chief


Managing Editor: Jensen Hsiao Writing Editor: Lizzie Rivette Danielle Bisbee Caitlin Duff Brown Karina Dutra Yi Ge George Lu Margaret Li Chelsea McIntosh Savannah Moss Kristina Savvateeva Mehr Sikri

thank you We would like to thank the Paly ASB for contributing to [proof] Magazine. In addition, we would like to thank our tech team, Neeraj Chand and Luis Martinez. Lastly, we would like to thank our advisor, Margo Wixsom for endless support and expertise. Thank you!

table of contents spotlight


Anna McGarrigle


Sarah Bramlett


Yi Ge


Andrew Chow


Photojournalism Forum


the arts


The New Age of Photography


San Francisco Day Trip


Legion of Honor


Youth Speaks Out


Music of Palo Alto








Scholastic Arts Award Winners


Student Gallery


cover photograph by Nikki Freyermuth contents photograph by Karina Dutra


meet the editors: vivian laurence

This year, my photography focus has been rooted in self-discovery. With my own work, I aim to spark positive change and self-reflection in my viewers. As an AP Photography student, much of my work has been geared towards creating a portfolio for the AP exam. I chose to explore surrealism by juxtaposing the human form in an abnormal environment, water. This series chronicles the complex journey to self-discovery and acceptance.

photography by Vivian Laurence

Following this portfolio, I released a personal series in early April titled The Soulfie Project. This movement is both a self-portraiture photography series as well as a collaborative written call for emotional honesty and awareness. I launched the project’s website,, and released this body of work with the mission of confronting societal normalities of false identity and concealing personal truth. One day, I hope we can unite to eliminate societal limitations and celebrate individual expression. Next year, I plan to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles to pursue a career in the arts, specifically fashion and photography. Ultimately, I hope to found my own collaborative creative company to bring together artists of all kinds. I’m a strong believer in the power of a team. The agency I envision, infused with the perspectives of many cultured minds and a vast range of talent, will be able to challenge prominent global and social issues through art.

Instagram: @lilredviv

meet the editors: nikki freyermuth Instagram: @snikka

I could easily say that four years ago when I entered Palo Alto High School, I was a completely different person. I had no intention of becoming who I am today but I have always had the gift of an open mind. My passions are easily embodied by the way I act and the personality I convey through my art. At the beginning of high school, I started documenting the adventures that my friends and I go on. Since then, I have had a love for design and imagery, particularly photographs that have significant meaning to me and are the result of spontaneity. For my AP Photography portfolio this year, I have focused on confronting the idea of compromised identity as imposed by society. embrace interior persona. I created silhouettes combined with a dramatic My focus on backlighting and contrast to compose enhancement of colors in backgrounds. The silhouettes are universal and unspecific, composed portrait silhouettes frames my exploration of identity. Upon joining the Campanile Magazine during to force people to let go of physical identity and my junior year, I incorporated my photos within the magazine. Combining graphic design with my photography became a passion. Being a part of [proof] during my senior year has been an exciting opportunity for me to express my design desires and convey it through the fine art that Palo Alto High School and local artists have to offer. After PALY I plan to continue my studies in Graphic Design and Journalism at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. I want to enhance the already beautiful world we live in and create a universal appreciation for the little things that go unnoticed daily. photography by Nikki Freyermuth



meet the editors: gleb promokhov

“I saw a tree, I saw it everyday, but today I found myself, already sitting there�

Artwork by Gleb Promokhov


rt is what it is, but to me, art is a process of expressing yourself and making yourself into who you want to be. I have always had an interest in exploring the metaphysical and spiritual, such as the nature of time and Buddhist philosophies. Through my art and writing I strive to express these ideas and many more, while discovering new things about myself along the way. In the near future I am going to be attending Rochester Institute of Technology to work towards a degree in computer science and design. I aim to engage in a career involving designing the newest technologies to better people’s lives all over the world. Of course art and writing will forever be an integral part of my life as I continue to write creatively and make artwork.

meet the managing editor: jensen hsiao Photography has always been my passion. I received my digital camera when I was four and within the first two hours I had taken over 200 photos. While my photos were all over the place, it was a start.

For all those aspiring photographers at Paly, I encourage you to shoot as much as possible. In the beginning it’s not about quality, it’s about quantity. Don’t be shy to bring your camera wherever you are.

Much of my inspiration and drive for photography has been sparked by various intensely meritorious artists who share their infatuation with photography on creative sites for the world to discover.

Instagram: @sirjens VSCO: website:

I am extremely excited to be attending Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon next year. I know that I will continue to avidly shoot. Photography by Jensen Hsiao

meet the writing editor: elizabeth rivette I learned to read when I was three. By age five I was writing my own creative stories. Since then I have been avidly passionate about writing. Writing has always been my creative and emotional outlet. I joined [Proof] as Writing Editor to further my passions of writing and photography. This fall I plan to attend Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and double major in Communication Arts and History while minoring in Psychology. I hope to one day be a marketing consultant.


spotlight photograph by Yi Ge

Jensen Hsiao

anna mcgarrigle by Vivian Laurence

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration for your photos from? A: I got my first camera in 2008 before I went to Guatemala with my family. That was really the first time I went out places with the intention of making photos. Going forward, my inspiration has always been what’s around me and trying to capture that.

Q: What is your favorite subject matter to photograph and why? A: Definitely people. I think one huge challenge is being able to bring out certain things in people and to be able to share that. Q: As we’ve noticed, you tend to take a lot of film photos in black and white. How do you think film adds a little something extra? A: Film definitely forces you to think about different things like lighting more than you would in digital. I think black and white really allows you to bring that out. You can manipulate it in the darkroom and make it lighter or darker, dodge, burn, but really, film forces you to be a better photographer up front whereas with digital, people get lazy.

photography by Anna McGarrigle, Paly ‘13

Q: What is most aesthetically pleasing to you in a photograph? A: I love lines and I love perspective. Perspective with lines - I think that really catches my eye. A lot of times, I’ll be walking and I’ll see buildings with interesting lines and even colors that just draw me in. Personally, I like doing that and adding people into that geometrical aspect, which can be sort of a challenge. You can make lines with people too. Q: Are there any personal messages or moral beliefs you attempt to portray in your photos? A: With any image, it’s about communicating. With people, I think it’s important to portray who they are in a picture and to do it accurately. It’s about sharing and sharing moments. That’s what I like.

sarah bramlett

by Mehr Sikri

Q: At what age did you start painting/drawing? A: I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. I did not take my first official art class until seventh grade, but up until then, everything I did helped me improve.

art by Sarah Bramlett, Paly ‘14

Q: What is your preferred painting media? A: My favorite paint is oil because it has the most potential for texture. You can really pile it on a canvas in ways that you just can’t with tempera or acrylic. My favorite drawing media are charcoal and ink. Q: What are the typical subjects you like to paint and draw? (People, nature, etc.) A: I try to make each piece unique, so I’m not limited to any one subject. In general my art tends to be a bit whimsical. It tells a story. Q: Is there a particular style of art that you are drawn to? (Example: Impressionism) A: I go through phases with my favorite art styles in the same way people go through phases with their favorite music. Right now I’m loving the Fauves, notably Henri Matisse and Andre Derain; I love the looseness and expressiveness of their work, specifically through their use of color. Surrealism, specifically Dali and Ernst, is also one of my favorite styles. Q: What is it that gives you the most satisfaction in this activity? A: It helps me get my ideas sorted out. Some people process verbally, some people write things down, but I’m a very visual-minded person and getting images out of my brain onto paper is what helps me.

Q: How do you see your future in art? A: While I’m not applying to art school, I hope I will be able to take art classes at wherever I end up for college. Though I won’t major in art, I might minor in it if Studio Art is offered as a minor. I will always make art because I couldn’t stop if I tried. Maybe if I’m lucky someone will pay me for it, but I’m really not planning on making art into a career.

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yi ge by Vivian Laurence


s a fourteen year old freshman at Palo Alto High School, Yi Ge has already marched right up to the gates of the artistic industry and demanded entry - with a sweet self-assured smile and plenty of talent. A fashion blogger with over 20,000 followers, Ge’s early interest in fashion led to a deeper appreciation for design and photography. In early 2013, Ge began photographing and developing a passion for film. “My interest in design made me aware of aesthetic, which impacts my work,” says Ge. Ge’s film work is heavily infused with architectural patterns, pensive landscape shots, and inquisitive

lighting. A fusion of personal experiences, Ge’s film photographs capture the insightful and raw perspective of an adolescent mind. Ge’s current and ever-expanding series, titled selfxphoto, combines her eye for aesthetics with the various friendships she has made through blogging. In this series, Ge pairs a selfportrait with a famous photograph or fashion editorial. “My design series is very personal because I am friends with the selfie takers and I match [the photographs] up,” says Ge. Ge’s accomplishments do not stop with photography. Last summer, Ge interned for Pierre Debusschere, manager of the creative design studio, 254 Forest. Debusschere directed the music video for Beyoncé’s song “Mine.” Most recently, Ge is a contributor to Bite Magazine, an international fashion magazine for which she has created various conceptual and artistic direction

for photo shoots alongside photographers, including duo Scandebergs. Additionally, Ge interns at an international modeling agency located in Germany called Tomorrow Is Another Day. “I really like TIAD because it's a small community where everyone knows each other and works well together. They put a lot of care and thought into their craft,” says Ge. For the agency, Ge compiles model information and designs composition cards. “My supervisor says [the cards] are so cool because the logo is laser cut into the paper and the design is nicer than all the other agencies,” says Ge. A self-described conceptualist, Ge revels

in her ability as an artist to make statements without putting herself at the forefront. “Some anonymity is very cool. A lot of high fashion isn't about prettiness, it's about intelligence,” says Ge. The focus of many big-name designers is to initiate discussion. “Fashion is just another art form, to people like me and designers like Raf Simons or Miuccia Prada. That is the mentality of many designers, trying to contradict ‘fashion’ in the sense of commercialism,” says Ge. With her quirky blend of wisdom and youthful perspective, along with just enough sass to captivate any listener, Ge is fearlessly commandeering a path all her own.

photography by Yi Ge

[ 15 ]

andrew c h o w by Claire Morris

[proof] interviewed local photography enthusiast Andrew Chow about his interest in art and personal philosophies for photography.

Q: How many years have you practiced photography? A: I first started taking pictures with an old film camera back in the 1970’s. I stopped for a while and picked it back up again in 2004 and have been taking photos ever since. Q: What genre of photography are you most interested in? A: I love to take photos of nature, particularly flowers and animals. I also like to take pictures of architecture as well. Q: Who are some famous photographers who have inspired you in the past? A: One of the most inspirational photographers to me is Ansel Adams. He used a film camera and took magnificent nature photos. Edward Weston also had magnificent control over black and white. He made black and white photos seem like they had color and texture, which is one of the most difficult skills to master. Q: What are your favorite camera bodies and lenses to use? A: Back when I first started taking photos, I used a Nikon body. Now I use a Canon and it seems to work just fine. The lenses are a more complex topic as far as picking the right one. For wide, picturesque landscape photos, use a 35mm lens. This size lens allows you to take wider pictures so you can capture the entire scene. For architecture pictures, use a tilt-shift lens.

photography by Andrew Chow

Q: Where are your favorite places to take pictures? A: I like to go to the botanical gardens in San Francisco. In the springtime, I go almost every weekend. For general nature shots, I like to go to Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, and Golden Gate Park. For animals, I enjoy going to zoos such as the San Francisco Zoo or the Oakland Zoo. For architecture, I like to go to downtown San Francisco and Stanford University.

Q: What would you tell aspiring photographers? A: First, find the subject matter that you want to photograph. Some people like to focus on nature, others focus on people - so find what interests you. Secondly, make sure you are passionate about photography. Pursuing photography requires a lot of resilience, patience, and hard work. If you are not truly interested in it, then you’ll just end up being frustrated and unhappy. Finally, all it takes is some practice. Get out and take pictures. Now while I encourage taking a lot of photos, don’t get an itchy shutter finger. Taking millions of shots doesn’t help you learn how to take meaningful shots. Take the time to set it up through the viewfinder and then take the photo. You can never discover what you find beautiful until you start looking for it.

Q: What first got you interested in photography? A: My brother gave me my first camera, a beat up Nikon film camera and told me that even though it was a little worn, it would still work. I tried to take pictures like those of famous photographers, but I couldn’t get it right at that time. Then when taking my first camping trip to Yosemite, I caught a glimpse of El Capitan with the moonlight shining on it. After growing up in a concrete jungle, this sight was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. To this day I have never seen El Capitan in the same majestic moonlight until I saw another picture taken by a famous photographer. I was moved to tears, but unfortunately it cost six hundred dollars and I could not afford to splurge on the picture. It was then I thought, “Why spend money on something that I can take myself?”

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annual photojournalism forum by George Lu

On January 31, Palo Alto High School hosted the 5th Annual Photojournalism Forum. Students from different photography and journalism classes from both Paly and Gunn High School gathered in the Haymarket Theatre to listen to the highly regarded photojournalists talk about their projects and experiences.

David Grose

Ed Kashi

This year’s photojournalism forum had two returning speakers, Camille Seaman and Ed Kashi. The two were accompanied by a third speaker, David Grose, who was attending for the first time. Each speaker discussed his or her own unique experiences in the field and shared their perspectives on a variety of topics.

Camille Seaman Photography Karina Dutra

Each speaker showcased his or her own unique experiences both verbally and visually. Students were exposed to the work through slideshows and videos in addition to commentary from the photojournalists. Students were given the privilege of seeing a sneak peek of upcoming personal projects and work-related activities.

The forum provided students with the opportunity to explore a variety of different topics and ideas. Whether students had previous experience with photojournalism or attended the forum as beginners, there was something for everyone to learn from the speakers. Photography students were excused from all classes in order to attend the forum while many other journalism classes attended during their respective class periods. During the lunch break, photography students and the guest speakers were treated to a luncheon in room 101. Students had the opportunity to engage in one-on-one conversation with the speakers and develop relationships with these respected field experts.

ed kashi

by George Lu

Ed Kashi

“The key is to care. Whatever it is, you need to care about it and you need to be curious. And then you start to see things that civilians don’t see. You get better at it and you develop these skills of observation. All of a sudden, you’ll see people in a whole other light. There’s something so exciting about that. Time is such a key element in allowing yourself to be free and relax and observe. When you have pressure on you, it’s much harder to find that magic. Once you catch the bug, it’s in you. And it’s there forever.”

Ed Kashi These are the words of advice that Ed Kashi gave to the students who attended the forum. Ed Kashi has traveled around the world photographing and recording important social and political conflicts. The topics he has covered range from the impact of oil on the Niger River Delta to the after effects of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. His documentaries and photos have greatly shaped the world’s social awareness of these troubling situations. His work appears in National Geographic Magazine, Mediastorm, and MSNBC. He continues to work in the field of photojournalism helping to spread social awareness wherever it is needed.

Ed Kashi Karina Dutra Ed Kashi

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camille seaman by George Lu

Camille Seaman discussed her own personal experiences in the field. She explained what originally captivated her interested in photography and what continues to shape the type of photographs she takes to share with others. Her first experience with a camera was when she was a high school student living in a tough neighborhood. She was entered into a program to help troubled youths find focus and stability. With this, she received a camera to document the world from her perspective. Seaman was left to her own devices in deciding what to photograph. Years later, Seaman took a trip to Antarctica and had her first experience with icebergs and nature. Now an expert at capturing these magestic mountains of sea ice, Seaman has exhibited a collection of her iceberg photographs at the Smithsonian Museum. Recently, she gave a TEDx talk where she spoke about her inspiring storm chasing experiences.

“Your uniqueness is the most valuable thing about you. If you embrace that and you nourish that, it will be the strongest thing you take with you for the rest of your life.� Camille Seaman Photography by Camille Seaman

david grose

by George Lu

“[The children] have this common quality to them. When you see a drawing done by a child, you can identify with them. We saw it as a way to bring the story to people in a way that could have hope embedded in it.” David Grose

David Grose was a first-time speaker at the Paly Photojournalism Forum this year. His recent goal regarding photojournalism is to help end the erupting violence in Syria. Through his Kickstarter campaign, he was able to go to Turkey and teach art classes for child refugees. Grose recently published the children’s drawings alongside their respective portraits and short biographies in a book titled Inside Outside. The drawings consist of many different ideas ranging from where the children wished they were to the violence they had seen in Syria. Inside Outside will be available as an eBook on the iPad.

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the arts

photograph by Ken Shin

the new age of photography by Jensen Hsiao

photography is ever evolving

O Yi Ge

ur generation is entering a new age of photography. It is an age where common individuals are able, in seconds, to take a photo and share it with hundreds, even thousands of people in an instant, effectively contributing to an archive of moments. This archive is ever expanding and essentially creating a virtual timeline of everyone’s moments in time. As taking photos becomes easier and easier and the rise of social media allows us to share every possible photo and even ‘too many’ images, the realm of photography is evolving faster than ever before. Gone are the days of the unique Kodak moment.

Jensen Hsiao Jensen Hsiao

In 2014 alone, “Yahoo!” estimates that as many as 880 billion photos will be taken. Facebook has stated that 6 billion photos are uploaded per month, and Instagram, with more than 150 million users, recently surpassed the 5 billion photo mark. The sheer volume of photos is transforming the realm of photography and is changing the way we think about photos. Jensen Hsiao

Nikki Freyemuth

film: the comeback

compared to other art forms, photography is relatively new.


hotography has only been around for approximately 200 years. Digital photography was first created 40 years ago and has only been commercially available since the 1990s. Prior to that time, during the film age, photography was seen to be an elite pastime, one that required lots of time and money. Using film required a darkroom, chemicals and lots of prior knowledge or the funds to have someone else process your film. This limited photography to mainly professionals and rich elites who had the time and money to partake in such hobbies. The majority of people only took photos on special occasions, like graduations, birthdays and annual vacations. Photos were not taken in such bulk, as they are now. Photos were painstakingly planned and crafted because developing film was expensive and not very convenient. On the positive side, this created a well-deserved satisfaction in a photo when it was finished, a satisfaction that photographers in today’s day and age are seeking by moving back to film photography. Because of the restricted amount of shots available with any given film camera, film photographers tend to be more careful with their shots and view this limitation as a challenge. film photographs by Yi Ge

Shooting film forces one to learn quickly as mistakes can be costly. While this can be daunting, the photographer is more involved in each photo, providing for a more fulfilling and hands-on experience. Yi Ge, [proof] photographer, shoots solely in film. She finds that shooting film can be more meaningful because it makes her feel more focused and present, as she has to actively be thinking about each shot. “Film looks of age,” Ge said. “Photo are always of the past. Digital photography seems to have a modern, in-the-moment look.” Ge has been experimenting with different films for about a year or so. She gets all of her photos developed at Costco. Many people are hesitant about shooting with film, due to the stigma that they must have a darkroom and develop their photos themselves; however, it is easy to outsource this work for cheap and the uptake in popularity of film may make it less costly.

continued [ 25 ]

the expansion of digital and mobile While film may be coming back as a popular medium for passionate photographers, digital photography is continually expanding. The first digital sensor was invented in 1975, less than 40 years ago and then commercialized in the 1990s. Digital photography was limited at first by the size and storage of digital photos, by sharing capabilities and by equipment. These restraints have been improved and basically removed in today’s day and age. Storage is cheaper and more abundant than ever. The tremendous rise of the Internet and social media in the last decade – and even the last year – has contributed to a huge online photo community on various sites. Nikki Freyemuth

all photos on this page were taken with the iPhone 5S Nikki Freyemuth

Digital cameras substitute film for a digital imaging sensor – allowing the photographer to not worry about film and take as many photos as they please, limited only by storage capacity. Digital photography, now overwhelmingly popular, is great for casual everyday shooting. Some may be discouraged to take up photography because they feel they have an inadequate camera. No camera is inadequate. Mobile photography, defined by photos taken with a mobile telephone, is on the rise. As phone cameras become more and more sophisticated, they are becoming increasingly popular, especially due to their portability and ease of use. Jensen Hsiao

Remember, photography is about capturing a moment and sharing. Each photo will evoke a different emotion. Working to control these emotions evoked in a photo is the true task of the photographer.

arts/new age

GoPro photography

Now, you don’t film your mountain biking adventure, you GoPro it. As innovations in technology continue, the traditional camera – often bulky, heavy pieces of machinery – no longer has to be the norm. For example, GoPro, a company based in San Mateo, California, continues to revolutionize and challenge the utility of the camera scene. Since its debut in 2004, GoPro cameras have become increasingly popular with everyone who has a hunger for high adrenaline activities. Your camcorder and smartphone could not withstand ocean waves to catch clips of surfing or fit on the helmet of a professional motocross athlete. Wherever a traditional camera was unable to record, a GoPro can now fit and survive anything you throw at it. Now, with the HERO3+’s image quality and video quality, it rivals full-sized professional cameras, at a fraction of the size. GoPro is commonly known for its stunning videos of skydiving, base jumping, skiing and other extreme sports. Yet unbeknownst to many, GoPro also takes 12MP photos and is equipped with a 30 fps burst mode. Combined with its versatility, the GoPro is the ideal camera to take while backpacking, river rafting and for your daily hiking ventures.

Jensen Hsiao

Gleb Promokhov

Jensen Hsiao

Gleb Promokhov

all photos on this page were taken with a GoPro

[ 27 ]

how the internet changed photography S

aying that the rise of the Internet has changed photography is an understatement. We live in a new era. The Internet has connected people like never before, the spread of ideas has never been more fluid and access to information is instant. This has created an entire new realm to share, comment and collaborate on all sorts of things, especially daily snapshots. Yet the creation of the Internet alone has not sparked these connections. Various social media sites allow new, otherwise impossible connections to form – and photography has become accessible to everyone. Now, photography is about sharing images with others, not just about taking photos. That said, many social media sites offer easy ways to alter, edit and add artistic expression to even ordinary images.

Jensen Hsiao

Now, sharing a moment with a photo is easier than ever.


Charles Slakey

First released on October 6, 2010, Instagram dramatically altered the photography domain as they introduced ‘filters’ that could change the vibe and emotion of each photo uploaded. Filters, or presets, are post-production stylization tools that change the colors, lighting and contrast in photos, giving them a unique and distinct look that varies and is more interesting than the filterless original. Before Instagram, filters were not largely presented in the photography realm, especially for the mass market casual photographer and definitely not on mobile. Aside from the 200 million monthly users and the 20 billion photos posted, Instagram’s greatest contribution that will go down in the books is the mass introduction of filters. Jensen Hsiao

The introduction of filters in 2010 also sparked numerous other apps, such as Afterlight and VSCO. VSCO, short for Visual Supply Company, formed in 2011 and aims to provide avid photographers with numerous presets that mimick classic film variety. VSCO, probably the best and largely unknown photo editing app for the mobile market right now, attracts users who want an app that provides the most unique filters and presets on the market. VSCO also offers a minimalist platform for users of VSCO Cam, their mobile app, to post one’s images on a simple, easy-on-the-eyes, personal website. Much like Instagram, users can follow one another to see what others are posting. Unlike Instagram, there are no numbers; people can’t see who you are following and you can’t see who is following you. This removes the popularity aspect of digital publishing and allows users to focus solely on the art aesthetic. Edited with VSCO Cam

Jensen Hsiao

the next step The rise of digital technology dramatically increased the number of photos produced and greatly changed the photography landscape for the better. While non-artistic and ordinary photos make up the bulk of our Facebook and Twitter accounts every day and many people believe that so many photos dilute the art form, they do not. The reason is that there are also more artists who are now able to share their work with millions of others. Digital media also provides a platform for images that make history --think Arab Spring. We are in an era of abundance, an era where anyone anywhere can share a moment -- common, artistic or historic -- with the entire world. Predigital photography once was solely the tool to capture the moments in our lives, moments that mattered and needed to be chronicled. The next step in our future will be finding a way to sift through the billions of photos to view the ones that truly matter -- and vividly remember our individual and collective histories.

Jensen Hsiao

Jensen Hsiao

Nikki Freyemuth

[ 29 ]

san francisco day trip

by Lizzie Rivette & Caitlin Duff Brown

San Francisco can easiliy be categorized as one of the most unique cities in the world. With a limitless variety of places to see and people to meet, you can experience anything from a day at the beach to a walk with some of the most intricate and impressive street art in the country. San Francisco is known for more than just its exquisite location and bright city lights, but it’s history and complete authenticity.

Nikki Freyermuth

Nikki Freyermuth

Jensen Hsiao

San Francisco is widely known for its crowded streets and bustling sidewalks but what most people do not seem to know is that the city is filled with small parks and scattered trees. When in the city, these parks and trees fade into the smog just as easily as dusk turns into dark.

Nikki Freyermuth

At just over 900 feet in elevation, Twin Peaks, located in central San Francisco, can easily be labeled as one of the most beautiful vantage points in the city. From the top, you can see all the colorful houses; and on a clear day, the bay. Coming during sunrise or sunset will provide even more breathtaking views.

Nikki Freyermuth

San Francisco is a vibrant city overflowing with creativity and innovation. From affluent Twitter employees to poverty-stricken homeless, San Francisco is also a city of great diversity. While some neighborhoods in the city seem to be immaculate and strikingly clean, others are lined with stunning, intricate graffiti. Such a place is Clarion Alley. The graffiti covering the walls on this street evoke emotion and kindle conversations pertaining to a variety of topics such as race, discrimination, and street violence. On average, more than 120,000 people cross the Golden Gate Bridge every day. Most of these travelers are simply making the mundane journey across the bay to go to work and see the bridge as a means of transport rather than the aweinspiring work of art that it is. Next time you cross the bridge, look up for a new fresh perspective. Notice the workers climbing the orange beams that are constantly supporting the structure and ensuring its safety. Take in the sights and smells of the salty San Francisco Bay. Nikki Freyermuth

Jensen Hsiao

While San Francisco is traditionally known for its hilly landscapes, busy city sidewalks and blaring car horns, one must not forget about the stunning beaches. Just beyond the Great Highway is one of the city’s most beautiful beaches, City Beach. During the summer, City Beach is often packed with city-dwellers and tourists alike relaxing in the California sun.

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legion of honor by Yi Ge

Located on a hill in Lincoln Park, the California Palace Legion of Honor Museum is a place not to be missed if you ever find yourself in San Francisco with time to spare. Atmosphere, culture, and beauty are but a few of the things you will discover at the Legion of Honor. Encircled by the Lincoln Park golf course and providing a breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge, this museum features the works of celebrated painters and sculptors such as Rodin, Rembrandt, Monet, and Picasso among others.

At the entrance to Legion of Honor, there is one of the first renditions of the Thinker. The Thinker, by French sculptor Auguste Rodin, is a near-life size bronze statue of a man pondering on a pedestal. This is the one of many replicas of this iconic sculpture. The replicas come in various mediums and sizes and began appearing in the early 1900s which now stand as a widely recognized symbol in philosophy. Originally commissioned in the late 1800s as a figure in the large piece known as The Gates of Hell, Rodin sought to incorporate the techniques of Michelangelo and give the Thinker a heroic, poetic representation.

The Legion of Honor features one of the most memorialized impressionist paintings series of all time, Water Lilies by Claude Monet. Monet, debateably the most celebrated impressionists of all time, created stunning works through violent strokes and emotive color coordination in Water Lilies. The series of two hundred and fifty oil paintings depicts the diverse angles and moods of Monet's flower garden in his Giverny residence in France. Painted from 1914 to 1917, it is one of the most distinguished works in their Impressionist galleries.

Love and the Maiden, by prominent Victorian Avant-Garde painter John Spencer Stanhope, is displayed among the pieces at the Legion of Honor. The Victorian movement is characterized by the aesthetic and the depiction of the human emotion, as evidenced in Stanhope’s Love and the Maiden. The asymmetrical balance of the maiden and the angel creates a sense of unease in their relationship. The two are dressed in complimentary colors as to continue their palpable tension. Love and the Maiden is one of the two must-see painting by Stanhope on display at the Legion of Honor.

Next time you visit the city, definitely consider visiting the Legion of Honor Museum to catch a glimpse – or more appropriately, an experience of the pieces included in the temporary gallery. The museum provides a window into the vibrant and extensive mind of these master artists throughout time.

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youth speaks out

by Savannah Moss

Vivian Laurence

Youth Speaks Out was created by Carolyn Digovich in the spring of 2010 after six teen suicides struck Palo Alto. Digovich recieved feedback during a teen forum that Palo Alto high schoolers need a professional venue where students could feel safe expressing their true feelings through the arts. Over the last four years, the program has evolved by changing its venues, adding instructors and including more art forms. This year’s event including 180 students, five teachers and three different schools.

Nikki Freyermuth

The final products were shown in the Palo Alto Art Center. Digovich worked hard this year to incorporate new art forms including music and poetry. This year, she partnered with Marshall Davis Jones, a prominent Los Angeles spoken word poet. Jones flew from southern California twice to meet with Palo Alto High School students and members of PALY Black Student Union. Each student had individualized time on Skype and through phone calls to refine their work untill they were ready to present at the Youth Speaks Out opening. Digovich is already in contact with more performing arts groups for next year, including Jones and Stanford Talisman. Youth Speaks Out is a unique opportunity that allows students to anonymously express their feelings through art.

Ross Cardillo

“I am grateful to YSO and PAAC for giving student artists a professional venue to showcase their artwork and writing. Often we discount teens for so many reasons and having an arts venue that gives them a voice empowers them in all the ways that we are supposedly teaching them to do or be: speak out, think critically, connect with community, develop and share their talents. YSO gives them that opportunity to share what they really think and feel. When we as a community do that it is no surprise that what is shared and inspired is such a rich, articulate, clever, complicated voice that shows the depth and caring of community youth today.” -Margo Wixsom

Conner Harden

Karina Dutra Rachel Berry Danielle Bisbee

“The YSO Mission was to fulfill the commitment made to students in 2010 to engage with them through the arts, to hear their true voices. YSO allows professional arts instructors and other adults to 'accompany' students in the YSO process the way musicians accompany one another - not as adult arts 'experts' - but as artists listening closely who are improvising together.” -Carolyn Digovich George Lu

[ 35 ]

music of palo alto

by Nikki Freyermuth & Kristina Savvateeva


ou can tell a lot about a person from what they listen to. Music is a part of everyone’s identity and self expression; people’s tastes vary from their experiences and where they come from. [Proof] set out to see what kinds of music the diverse people of Palo Alto choose to have enter their ears. [Proof] spent a day walking up and down University Avenue, wandering into various cafes and restaurants and asking anyone wearing headphones what song they were listening to. Each question was followed by a quick snapshot. Here’s a collection of the individuals who were interviewed paired with their song selection.

[ 37 ]

paly theatre

by Chelsea McIntosh

This school year has been one of the most successful years for the PALY Theater program to date. The program produced three hit productions including William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Aladdin and Pride and Prejudice. Additionally, the program attended this year’s California State Thespian Festival. Many thespian students performed pieces at the festival and earned significant recognition from the honorable event.

In April, five one-act productions, directed by students, were performed with a guest appearance from the Improv Troupe. The Improv Troupe has performed at Open Mic Nights held at Lucie Stern Community Center. They have also visited local middle schools, including Jordan and Jane Lathrop Stanford to encourage the incoming freshman to join the PALY theatre program. Notable lead performances in this year’s productions were headlined by many talented actors including Sarah Ohlson, Aaron Slipper, Paige Esterly, Carly King, and Jonathan Mackris. These thespians are all part of the graduating class of 2014. Additionally, a program associated with Theatreworks called The Young Playwrights’ Project chose a selection of Theater 3 and 4/4 Honors students to have their own short plays performed by professional actors. The notable playwrights include Clara Baker, Molly Mackris, Cara Kienitz, Curtis Wu, Will Kast, Ilana Baer, Dashiel Grusky, and Winston Wang. These young actors will further the theatre program here at PALY in future years.

paly choirs This school year has been a memorable one for Palo Alto High School’s choral program. They started off the school year by participating in Compline at Stanford Memorial Church, a superb performance that featured Concert choir, the Spectrum singers, and Madrigals. Following this event, the four acapella groups (The Heartbreakers, Folk Yes, Vikapella, and The Heartbeats), beginning choir, concert choir, the Spectrum singers, and Madrigals performed at their Fall Concert: For Love of Song. Both of these concerts featured beautiful pieces sung in many different languages. Their preparation led to one of their biggest events in the fall: the Madrigal Feaste. At this event, the audience is served food and serenaded by the lovely choral groups, dressed in costume, creating a wonderful experience for both the performers and the audience. This spring, the choir was busy getting ready for their annual Pops concert. This year their theme was music from the 80’s/oldies. Some of the highlights were Bohemian Rhapsody, performed by concert choir, California Love, performed by Beginning Choir, and Wanna Be, performed by the Spectrum singers. One of the final concerts is the Spring Concert: Voix, Voci, Voice, which will feature all choirs and acapella groups. Concert choir had an opportunity to work with Ruth Ann Swenson, a soprano opera singer, in the fall. Another significant workshop was held with Chanticleer, a talented and successful all male acapella group. Some influential seniors that have been involved in the choral program throughout these past four years include Sarah Ohlson, Aaron Slipper, Emily Willick, Paige Brown, Megan Rohrer, Julia Hong, Jonathan Kosaka, Gabe Salmon, Hannah Wilson, and many more. The choral program will be finishing off their year with a bang as they head off to Spain for ten days to perform in different cities. Stay tuned for more opportunities to see these talented individuals perform next year.

Photography by Rob Wilen

[ 39 ]


photograph by Jensen Hsiao

Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards Kent Slaney


cholastic Arts & Writing has been recognizing student artists and writers for almost a century. From Sylvia Plath to Andy Warhol, young artists are inspired by national recognition. All students may enter artwork and writing. Senior portfolios are eligible for over $8 million in scholarships. In 2014, 36 Paly students won 54 California Key awards and Ross Cardillo, Margaret Li, and Ken Shin are National Medalists - invited to Carnegie Hall in NYC in June for the national awards ceremony. Fourteen photography student medalists were selected from California - so Paly made up 20% of the CA National Medalists.

Submit your artwork and writing to​

Cezanne Lane Ken Shin Andrea O’Riordan

Ken Shin

Ken Shin

Cathy Rong

Ross Cardillo Cathy Rong

[ 43 ]

Margaret Li

Cathy Rong

Yi Ge

Ken Shin

Cezanne Lane Rachel Berry

Nicole Berry

[ 45 ]

Karina Dutra

Jensen Hsiao

Yi Ge

Yi Ge

Ella Mernyk

Nikki Freyermuth

[ 47 ]

Ella Mernyk

Maddy Atwater

Margaret Li

Emily Semba

Bethany Wong

Karina Dutra

[ 49 ]

Nicole Berry

Karina Dutra

Conner Harden

Emily Semba

Nicole Berry

Hayden Libbey

Albert Hwang

Alice Read

[ 51 ]

Nikki Freyermuth

Jensen Hsiao

Karina Dutra

Rebecca Segars

Ella Mernyk

[ 53 ]

Nikki Freyermuth

Ella Mernyk

Jacki Seymour

Danielle Bisbee

Jensen Hsiao

Mostyn Griffth

[ 55 ]

Mostyn Griffth

Jensen Hsiao

Elena Willow

Karina Dutra

Ken Shin Gleb Promokov

Ross Cardillo

Shyon Lewis-Steck

[ 57 ]

Conner Harden

Hannah Salmon

Karina Dutra

Karina Dutra

Karina Dutra

Jensen Hsiao

Conner Harden

Nikki Freyermuth

[ 59 ]

Conner Harden Conner Harden

Nikki Freyermuth

Jacki Seymour

Yi Ge

Gleb Promokov

[ 61 ]


photograph by Jensen Hsiao

[proof] 2013-2014  

Palo Alto High School's fine arts magazine.

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