Downey art teacher's work selected for exhibition

DOWNEY - Ann Storc has had a calling to educate others since she was a child - her first students were her paper dolls.Instructing English, drama, and art for 39 years at St. Matthias High School, Storc, 66, said it is the students themselves who have always inspired her to teach. "I like the process," Storc said. "I see these kids growing and learning so I like teaching more than being an artist myself. In fact, I have never considered myself an artist - I am a teacher and it is the teaching that is my art." Not even money or distance has kept Storc from educating children. Her desire to teach at St. Matthias High School caused her to turn down a job offer as a graphic designer for NBC, and she travels from her home in Van Nuys to her students in Downey. "The drive on the freeway is worth it because I'm going to St. Matthias. It's just a special place and has such a special spirit," Storc said. Thousands of students have passed through Storc's classrooms since she first started teaching in 1970, but one sophomore group stood out to her two years ago. As a class project, the students took pictures of each other. "I loved the pictures," Storc said. "This was such a dynamic group that I decided to paint them." What grabbed her attention was realizing that most of the students in her advanced placement art class are second generation Americans. "They are Filipino, Mexican, and even El Salvadorian," Storc said. "The parents of these students are immigrants who sacrificed to send them to Catholic school just so they can get a good education. Ninety-five percent of our students go on to college, so that's a pretty good batting average." The acrylic painting that Storc created from the pictures of her students was selected by Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles Curator Alma Ruiz to be among the exhibitions in the Women Artists on Immigration: Crossing Borders, Confronting Barriers, Bridging Identities art show. Ruiz made her art show selections from 298 submissions from 125 artists. Presented by the Women's Caucus for Art with the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, Storc's piece entitled "2nd Gen." will be on view Feb. 20-March 7 at 5505 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. An opening reception will be held on Feb. 27 from 7-9 p.m. The closing event will host an artists talk and celebration of International Women's Day on March 7 from 12:30-2 p.m. The Women Artists on Immigration show will feature works by California-based female artists from all career levels. ********** Published: January 30, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 41