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Paso Robles art student sells first professional work

February 18, 2016 - KSBY 6

By Dan Shadwell

For years now, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District has partnered with "Studios on the Park" for VAPA, or visual and performing arts education, to offer students an immersion in arts.

Recently, one of those students--a football player who originally had an aversion to art--sold his first piece.

Seventeen-year-old, Carlo Del Valle's mother, Lyann, explained, "He wanted to do tech and there was no more space for the tech class, so he was forced to go into art."

Carlo added, "It takes a lot of patience. That's why I didn't really like art at first. You have to pay attention to a lot of stuff."

The boy's reluctance ended in 6th grade. Carlo is now a junior at Paso Robles High, and he's mastered that patience and attention to detail. That's evident in his first professional work: a close-up portrait of a male lion.

"I really like the animal," Carlo said with a smile. "It feels really powerful and it intimidates."

Art fan, Margaret Northrop spotted the portrait at Studios on the Park and paid $175 for it.

KSBY's Dan Shadwell asked Northrop,"Did that seem fair?" She responded, "Oh! More than fair. Oh, my gosh! The eyes. I just loved the eyes. I felt like the lion was looking right at me," she smiled.

Carlo explained, "I continuously erased the eyes and keep on doing them over and over until they're perfect."

One of Carlo's instructors, Kelly Clark says, the teen has learned quickly. "He's done some amazing, just technical work. Right now, he's starting to bring things of importance to him and things that are happening in the news and he's starting to apply it to his art."

Carlo is finishing a sketch of a rose, colored red on the right third of the blossom, white in the middle, and blue to the right. He explained the significance of the piece: "As the Paris bombing began,... well,.. took place, looks like the flower is bleeding. The flower represents the world." Indeed the colors seem to be dripping from the petals.

Carlos continued to explain the importance of art," helps you think a lot about everyday society and what happens in the world. Making art, you can influence others, because art shows a lot of emotion and feelings."

Kelly Clark smiled when he heard the discussion of emotion and feelings. "When I found out he's a football player, I was like 'what?!' He's like one of these philosophical warrior types, he said.

Carlos is surprised by the reaction he has gotten to his artwork. "I never thought I'd be here, you know? Now I have to somewhat step up my game and try to strive for better accomplishments," he said.

His instructor agreed and cited the increased expectations for Carlo's new works. "They always say that, if you really want to find courage, find an artist," he said.

Because Carlo is now a professional artist, he won't be allowed to enter amateur student competitions, but he says that's alright. He's setting his sights on a life in the arts.

Click here to watch the video.