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Community News: Mid-City

MID-CITY : Student Wins With Vision of Harmony

March 14, 1993|ELSTON CARR

When Miguel Ramos signed up for a beginning art class at Los Angeles City College, he worried that his work would not measure up.

"I was afraid and thought that I'd have to play catch-up," Ramos said of the 35-student art class.

But Ramos' feelings of inadequacy were dispelled when his final class project won first place in a local art competition that carried a $1,000 prize. "I didn't think I had a chance," Ramos said.

Ramos' 4-by-36-inch drawing of 50 national flags with a globe and rainbow in the background captured the contest's theme of "Oneness of Humanity," said Teresa Langness, director of the Los Angeles Bahia Center, which sponsored the competition.

"There was no contest," said Langness, who was part of the panel that judged 15 finalists selected from throughout the city. "His was just far and away the best."

Started in 1844 in what is now Iran, the Bahai Faith is committed to a mission of gender equality, universal education, the elimination of poverty, the independent investigation of truth and the quest for world peace, Langness said.

"He really grasped what we're trying to accomplish," Langness said of Ramos' design, which will be painted onto wooden panels to create an 8-by-64-foot mural outside the group's Southwest Los Angeles offices at 5755 Rodeo Road. The mural is to be completed by the end of April.

Ramos said the idea for the drawing, which he colored with markers, was inspired by flags in an encyclopedia and the diversity of Los Angeles.

"I want people to pass by and say, 'Oh look, there's my flag,' " Ramos said.

A tall, shy 18-year-old who likes to play baseball and football with his friends, Ramos said he began drawing comic-book and cartoon characters at 14.

"I couldn't draw good, but I would draw anything," Ramos said. "It was just like a hobby."

And while undecided about his career goals, Ramos said he plans to keep art in his life.

"I don't know what I really want to be, but I know it's got to be something in art because I really like that," Ramos said. "I just want to paint pictures and hope that people could look up to me or something like that."

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