Hundreds of students swayed to guitar music, watched dancers and strolled past dozens of drawings, paintings and other artwork.
The courtyard at Santa Ana High School was transformed into a lunchtime carnival Wednesday for the third annual "Arts on the Lawn" party. The festival was designed to recognize student performers and artists, as well as interest students in classes about dance, drawing, photography and other disciplines.
"We see this as a way for them to expand their awareness of all the different kinds of ways there are to express themselves," art teacher Pat Phillips said.
"It gives them a good chance to get involved, and I think everyone in the school is very enthusiastic about the arts programs."
Many students agreed.
"It gives us a better understanding of what art is," said Alicia Cerranza, 15. "And I think its very important because these kids don't always get recognized by other students. This shows us what they've been doing with their hard work."
Throughout the four-hour event, students performed for their peers, singing, dancing, drawing sketches and demonstrating how to make colorful acrylic masks.
Several youngsters stopped to watch Javier Carlos, 18, as he sketched a flower in colored chalk.
Carlos smiled at the attention. "I've gotten lots of compliments," he said later.
"This (festival) is a good idea," he said. "It takes away a lot of the bad reputation that Santa Ana has. It lets people know there are still some people who do art work, who are still creative."
Plus, he added, "It's a pretty good time."