The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


There’s Reason to Celebrate the State of the Arts at Pali 

Students’ work on display at art shows in Los Angeles
Courtesy of Splen and Lela Violet

Pali students filed into a gallery on Melrose Avenue to hear the set from a student-led band, Honey. After the set concluded, the doors to the art exhibit of “Splen” opened, showcasing photography, art and sculptures produced by their peers. The featured artists, musicians and those photographing the event consisted entirely of high school students. The event, orchestrated by Pali junior Mateo Arrachedera, debuted on Oct. 23, 2023. 

After his photography was featured in Pali alumni Sydney Suh’s art show last year, Arrechedera was inspired to host a show of his own.  

“I reached out to artists that I knew…and asked them if they would be interested in being a part of my show,” Arrachedera said. “Most people were excited to have a place to show their art, so I began to plan it.”

“Sydney gave me the contact information for the venue, then I went with my dad and designed a poster,” he added. “When I got put into Sydney’s art show last year, I felt welcomed, and I wanted [other] people to feel the same way.”’

The “Splen” exhibit features a variety of artistic mediums, including photography, paintings, sculptures and poetry. 

One band featured in “Splen” was Honey, which consists of Pali juniors Chloe Stuer, Ethan Mordujovich, Henry Jamison and Jasper Hoegh-Goldberg. Performing at “Splen” was one of their first experiences playing for a larger audience. 

“Our set was mixed with both covers and original songs,” Stuer said. “Performing for my peers was cool because it let me perform for more people and gain experience for future performances.”

Honey is set to perform in future “Splen” shows. 

“I’m even more excited to play the upcoming show and see everyone again. It feels like we’ve laid the groundwork and now can have more fun with it,” Steur said.

Despite the variety of art mediums featured in “Splen,” the show primarily drew from the photography of Pali students enrolled in Rick Steil’s photo class. 

“The photo class is the biggest art community for me,” Arrachedera said. “There is just this idea of constant brainstorming in there and inspiration that gets thrown around. At the end of the day, everybody’s riffing off each other.”

Arrachedera said photography gives him the opportunity to capture the lives of others. His process includes taking portraits of “interesting people in cool places,” such as a Manchester bus stop or downtown Los Angeles. 

Senior Emmett Whitaker, one of the featured artists, explained how creative collaboration in Steil’s classroom influenced his photography. 

“Creating art with people is so fun because you get insight into things that you couldn’t in your own brain,” he said. “For one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, I worked with [my classmate] Gavin Federizo to combine his editing skills and my concept for the image…This actually ended up being one of the photos I featured in [Splen].”

Whitaker’s artistic inspiration stems from his childhood experiences. 

“When I was a kid, I had an autoimmune disease called PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections), which caused me to have certain ticking episodes,” he said. “What I found in various forms of art was an outlet of silence, a place where my body finally stopped turning its gears and simply was still.”

Both Whitaker and Stuer agree that “Splen” helped immerse them in a community of artists.  

“At [Splen], I met a lot of cool people who liked the same thing I liked,” Whitiker said. “By being connected to the people around you, you know that you have support.”

In creating shows like “Splen,” Arrachedera strives to create a community of like-minded individuals. 

“During these shows, you have a chance to see everyone with a similar mindset as you, in a way you don’t get to see at school,” he explained. 

Arrachedera’s next art show will be hosted in Topanga on Feb. 3. 

“Hopefully I can expand these shows to a larger audience and a wider range of artists and musicians,” he said. “I want to get more shows with music, like jazz players, and I don’t want to skimp out on art. I want to give people a place to go and a place to play.” 

“To me, photography is a documentation more than an art,” Arrachedera said. “When [your lives] come in contact, you realize that there’s just all these other people that are living lives as complex as yours, but you never see it. It’s like saying ‘I see you, I want to give this back to you.’”

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About the Contributor
Reina Stem
Reina Stem, Staff Writer
Reina Stem, a junior, is excited to grow her writing abilities throughout her first year as a staff writer in Tideline. She’s written creative pieces for as long as she can remember, and is ready to delve into writing Pali-based news pieces. Reina is co-president of March for Our Lives and the secretary for My Body My Choice, so she can be found in the quad doing bake sales. When not in school, she spends her weekends thrifting, painting, or perfecting her iced matcha recipe.