Solana Pacific, Online Scholars artwork selected for SD Museum of Art exhibit

Solana Pacific fifth grader Gabriela Morillo's art was selected to be featured on a utility box downtown.
Solana Pacific fifth grader Gabriela Morillo’s art was selected to be featured on a utility box downtown.

Artwork by 10 students from Solana Pacific School and the Solana Beach School District’s Online Scholars was recently accepted as part of the San Diego Museum of Art exhibit “Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet.” The environmentally-themed artwork will be on display at Balboa Park through May 9.

The 4-6 grade Solana Pacific students who will have their artwork shown at the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) include Sierra Liu, Kai Shaprut, Katelyn Zeng, Gabriela Morillo, Dal Piccol, Pela Hadley, Mia Lopez, Kenzo Karres and Cici Mei. Art by Online Scholars Maya Krishnan and Purvi Jain will also be on display.

“Children are continuing to find their voices and share them with others, whether through art or other endeavors,” said SBSD Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger. “I am so proud of our talented students for allowing us to be a part of their journey to wonder and discover in both learning and life. I’m also grateful to our teachers and Solana Beach Schools Foundation members who support and nurture art and creativity.”

Solana Pacific Art Instructor Sheri Burkhart had the tough task of selecting just five art pieces to submit per grade level.

“The students I work with are incredibly creative and open, and it is so important to encourage all students in this area of their lives,” Burkhart said. “I love the work done by SDMA and greatly appreciate the amount of guidance and outreach they offer to both youth and educators within the San Diego community.”

Solana Pacific sixth grade student Cici Mei created artwork, called “Turn Off the Light”.
Solana Pacific sixth grade student Cici Mei created artwork, called “Turn Off the Light”.

Solana Pacific sixth-grader Cici Mei and fifth-grader Gabriela Morillo were also selected to participate in a unique driving/biking art tour, called “The Young Art Outside the Frame!” The tour is a partnership between the SDMA, SDG&E, and Mindful Murals that seeks to enliven public spaces and transform sometimes unsightly infrastructure into a canvas for public art.

A team of local artists covered 25 SDG&E utility boxes with interpretations of the students’ art. A utility box on Park Boulevard and Russ Boulevard will feature an interpretation of Cici’s piece “Turn Off the Light” while an utility box near Park and Market Street is inspired by Gabriela’s mixed media piece, “My Sustainability Art Project.”
A digital map of the tour is available at

In addition to her work being featured on a utility box, Cici was also selected to be featured in a SDMA guest lecture with Caldecott Medal author, screenwriter and artist Brian Selznick on March 19. Selznick, a part-time resident of San Diego, is the creator of the New York Times bestseller “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” as well as illustrator of the 20th anniversary covers of the Harry Potter book jackets.

“We are so proud of all of our student submissions, as well as how motivated these students were by the topic of preserving our earth’s precious resources,” said Elisa Fregoso, principal of Solana Pacific School. “The artwork created by all students was thoughtfully prepared and exhibited tremendous reflection and insight into the theme thanks to Mrs. Burkhart’s artful guidance and motivation.”