Salome Art Contest Winner – Marshall Dahlin

This past fall, LA Opera hosted a contest for currently enrolled college art and design students in southern California. Students were asked to submit artwork for LA Opera’s spring production of Strauss’s Salome for a chance to be featured on the cover of the show’s performance program and displayed at the home of LA Opera, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Thanks to the generous support of GRoW @ Annenberg, more than 35 students from 14 different southern California institutions competed for cash prizes and to see their artwork on this season’s Salome program cover. The winners were chosen by a jury, chaired by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten of the Annenberg Foundation and by Regina Weingarten, a member of the LA Opera board of directors. The jury also included Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera President and CEO; Diane Bergman, LA Opera Vice President of Marketing and Communications; Keith Rainville, LA Opera Brand Manager; and Tim Johnson, Film Director at DreamWorks Animation and a member of the LA Opera board of directors. Organizers have announced three winners: Marshall Dahlin, David Kwock, and Lauren Moss.

The top submission (see below), by Marshall Dahlin of Cal State Fullerton, was selected for the Salome cover, and earned him a $5,000 prize. David Kwock of Cal State Dominguez Hills won $2,000 for second place for his submission.

Third place winner Lauren Moss of Santa Monica College – who won $1,000 for third place for her submission learned about the art contest from a Facebook post. Although Moss is an opera fan, she did additional research on Salome specifically before creating her piece with water color.

“Everyone seems to demonize Salome, but I wanted to show that she was grieving. I painted her during her famous dance scene, but with a swan instead of John the Baptist’s head,” says Moss. She used a swan in place of John the Baptist’s head, because of the expression “swan’s song,” which is said when someone is doing something for the last time.

Thanks to this contest, the winners and all qualifying contestants have been invited to the opening night performance of Salome on Feb. 18. The winners will attend the cast party to receive their prize and meet the cast and creatives behind the production.

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  • Submitted by Karen Meurer Bacellar, LA Opera Content Manager