David Kwock, an art and design major at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), was honored with 2nd place and a $2,000 prize for his program cover design for the LA Opera’s spring production of composer Richard Strauss’ opera, Salome.
Kwock and students in art and design lecturer John Lionel Pierce’s Design 342 course competed last fall with 35 students from 13 other campuses in Southern California to be featured on the cover of the widely distributed program. The 1st place winner’s artwork will also be on display at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home of the LA Opera.
“When I won I was very excited. I did not expect to win at all. It was quite a shock for me to even be recognized, let alone be one of the three finalist,” said Kwock, a Long Beach resident, who was familiar with the Bible’s story of Salome, but did additional research to develop how he wanted to design his submission. “My piece was influenced by images of opera masks. I took that idea and gave the mask features that looked like John the Baptist. I have a background in photography, so I did a minimalist design that would show the story I tried to depict.”
The winner and two finalists were chosen by a jury chaired by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, vice president and director of the Annenberg Foundation, and Regina Weingarten, a member of the LA Opera Board of Directors. All three winners will receive their awards Feb. 18, Salome’s opening night, and attend a cast party to meet the actors and others behind the production.