The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Sue Page
Valley Oaks Charter School English teacher and High School Advisor 

Valley Oaks Charter School Graduate

Valley Oaks Charter School Graduate

 

June 5, 2021

Photo provided

Cora Sweeney.

Cora Shea Sweeney is an exceptionally talented young woman. Especially appropriate for the 2020-21 school year, her favorite quote by Victor Hugo illustrates her optimism: "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."

Cora has attended Valley Oaks Charter School for six years. She loves art, music and drama. Cora has taken advantage of VOCS' unique charter by also attending dual-enrollment academic classes with Humboldt State University and Cerro Coso Community College. Her rigorous parent-directed senior English class focused on college curricula, in addition to women and art of the British eras. Cora is an accomplished violinist, as well. She has participated in the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra from 2006 through 2019. Cora was also involved in Improv at TADA at the Tehachapi Acting Studio. Although her personality can be quiet, Cora often challenged her peers to "think outside the box" in academic high school classes and in her art. As Emily Dickinson states, Cora can, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant" in a freshly unique way!

The 2020-21 school year has been a challenge, to say the very least. Cora has used this as a time to get busy on her passion while maintaining her academics. During the pandemic, Cora has managed to virtually attend the Oxbow School Printmaking Workshop from Napa, California, the 2020 Juried Student Program from ArtWorks with the Bakersfield Museum of Art, and her painting, entitled When David Brooks Doesn't Answer Your Fan Mail, was a finalist with AcrylicWorks 8 and will be published this August. She was also awarded a merit scholarship by the California College of the Arts to attend their summer 2020 pre-college program. Unfortunately, the program was canceled due to COVID-19 and she was unable to attend. This did not slow her down.

Cora's latest awards include the Scholastics Art & Writing Awards 2021 Gold Key for her Figure Collage, the Silver Key for her Frog Saloon, 2021 Honorable Mention for her Gothic, Plush, Truck, Memory, Fable, Portrait in Chrome works, the 2020 Gold Key for her Submerged, the Gold Key for her Amphibia, and an Honorable Mention for her Frog. Cora has received many more local, statewide, and national awards.

Her latest achievement: She was invited to apply separately to Otis College of Art and Design and had to submit a three-minute video essay challenging the historical canon and narrative of women and BIPOC in art history. Cora has been accepted into the 2021 Bachelor of Fine Arts Honors Program at Otis! We all look forward to the rising sun that is Cora Sweeney.

 
 

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