With his effervescent spirit that bursts with humor and energy, Sierra Canyon alumnus Leor Alon’s (‘17) bona fide passion for creativity is what guides his life. As he shapes his future, Alon not only uses the mixed media art materials from ceramics teacher Ron Knepper’s treasure cove in Room 301, but also the vehement drive that pushes him to overcome any kind of obstacles that lie in his path.
“Leor is a very creative and mature student. Just [recently], he did an unbelievable presentation on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” which I think was a poem that was personally meaningful to him as an artist because it’s a poem, to some extent, about the nature of artistic inspiration and the artistic process,” English teacher Noah Salamon said.
Born originally in Palos Verdes and moving then to Woodland Hills, Alon spent his childhood watching “Tom and Jerry,” playing with dominos, and running around with his friends “just being kids.”
Alon credits the “kaleidoscopic lense” in which he sees the world to making him feel as if he has time traveled back to the days of his youth. However, his early years were not full of only wild playfulness.
As a child, Alon’s focus and drive were put to the test. Now 17-years-old, he shared that the hours spent building Legos proved formative in the development of the passion he now holds for creating different kinds of art.
Whether chasing his sister Celine Alon (‘18) around the house as children or going on motorcycle sidecar excursions with his dad and sister through the Topanga Canyon, Alon has always proved to be the core of his family. This is not only because of his age, but rather his innate ability to keep everybody together in a constant vessel of support and love.
“Leor never really gave up on anything he did [and] has always been very dedicated. [My brother] has always been very loving and caring and open [and never] the type to hide his feelings from you. He has been so very honest his whole life,” senior Celine Alon said.
Ranging from EDM to the Beatles’ psychedelic Magical Mystery Tour to Pink Floyd’s celebrated rock opera “The Wall,” Alon turns on his eclectic set of musical jams and tunes out while embarking on motorcycle rides in the canyons he visited in his youth. When he isn’t sculpting or pursuing photographic endeavors, Alon’s scenic adventures have served as critical of inspiration for his art.
What changed his trajectory as an artist was choosing to switch out of architecture into his first ceramics course which gave him a new outlet for expressing his voice in 8th grade.
“Since my self portrait in 10th grade [ceramics], I’ve always been really interested in the human form, [especially in] faces and hands, and in exploring the natural world. Most of my art has to do with both [people and the natural world] intertwined in some way,” Alon said.
The years spent in ceramics courses with Knepper has had a formative impact on Alon and his identity as an artist. From his Wire Tree to various hand sculptures, to spending hours with Alon creating some of his best work, Knepper has taught Alon how to go further in exploring the use of different mediums in his art.
“Most pieces have ups and downs — in each piece there’s always the ‘Oh no. That’s not gonna work’… ‘this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done’, but then you figure it out. Every piece just progresses like that,” Alon said.
As his teacher for six years, Knepper describes Alon’s quintessential style as evolving and experimental.
“Leor is totally into his stuff. He is constantly working and thinking, which is an extremely positive thing, especially for an artist. It is the only way to progress. Leor admits to the fact he’s evolving; he is completely going in the right direction,” Knepper said.
Infatuated by Los Angeles’ fusion of the beach and temperate weather, all while surrounded by the cultural explosion at the core of the city, Alon did not want to give up the best of so many worlds.
While the city of Los Angeles has not directly influenced Alon’s artwork and style, it is the individuals that make Los Angeles so diverse that had the biggest impact. In recent photography projects, Leor has been exploring the juxtaposition of nature and humanity to demonstrate how man has left his stamp everywhere he goes.
In reflecting on his high school experiences and the way he has grown, Alon has realized that he values unrefined, genuine honesty, both in the literal sense and in being truthful in his self expression.
“Honesty is [something I find] really important. I always am really open about what is on my mind, like I never hide [who I am] or who I want to be. It doesn’t matter what people think of you. Just do what you want and don’t be shy,” Alon said.