PepsiCo/Frito-Lay/Cheetos Halloween Exhibit Competition

$50,000.00 Grand Prize Winner

Original Monster Creation by Crystal Powell 2016

At The Cheetos Museum

Cheetos, a familiar brand from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division, has named local Surreal Oil Painter, Crystal Powell, the first ever winner of the Cheetos Museum Halloween Edition contest after she submitted her Cheetos Monster Creation back in September of 2016. Crystal started 2017 off by taking home the grand prize of $50,000.00, the title of most creative fan submission and a photo of her creation was immortalized in short stop motion animation by Athena Studios entitled "Bag of Bones". The film was featured at select AMC theaters and at 

Fans got in the spirit of the season by using their imaginations to create one of a kind Monsters using any Cheetos brand product including the limited edition Cheetos Bag of Bones skeleton shapes. All approved artwork was on display in the Halloween Exhibit at from September 20 - October 31 2016 where fans were able to like their favorite submissions.The top finalists receiving the most amount of fan likes were then submitted to the judging panel where their creations were judged on uniqueness, creativity and overall concept.

Using just short of a mixture of 200 Skeleton shapes, original cheese flavored and red hot flavored Cheetos, Crystal created a Cyclops Monster which she entitled "Say Cheese." Her concept was to depict a female Cyclops character who was showing off her new Spooky Skeleton earrings via a social media selfie. Her idea proved to be current, unique and loved by many fans that voted on her creation.

The Cheetos Museum celebrates their fans imaginations and inspires them to continue showcasing their creativity. San Diego is now home to the grand prize winner of the Halloween Edition Cheetos Museum exhibit. Crystal Powell's Monster Creation along with all of her artwork can be seen at or on her instagram at indircteffectsart. 

Give her a like and a follow to stay updated with her new creations and remember to always support local artists.

Original Mural Art by Crystal Powell 2012
At The Grand Del Mar in Del Mar, CA.

After working at the Grand Del Mar for 5 years, Crystal was lucky enough to be chosen to paint a 30 foot by 10 foot mural as a thank you to the staff for obtaining the 15 Star award which only 2 hotels in the United States held the title for during 2012.
The owner of the hotel commissioned Crystal to create a one of a kind piece that represented the staff. The location was on the wall of the new changing/locker rooms which were just opened.
Crystal went around the hotel and photographed over 40 individuals from all different departments including housekeeping, room service, fine dining, bellmen, doormen, front desk, valet and much more. She arranged the girls on the female side of the locker rooms and the boys along the male side of the locker room.
Completing the mural she added the logo of the Grand Del Mar to add the last personal touch.

Loss of Innocence: A collection of Cremated Toys
By:Crystal Powell and Tessa Medearis 2010
Collaborative Instillation Art. “Reflections of the Keepers,”  Studio 2306, Oceanside.

Collaborative Instillation Art by Crystal Powell and Tessa Medearis 2010. A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e., urns holding a deceased's cremated remains). Kept deep in our closets, we found suitcases full of old toys which once held values so deep to our everyday life. Each face was like a friend who had heard more stories than one could even begin to imagine.

With the loss of our youth came also the loss of our innocence.  The toys were stored deep away in the darkness of the past.  Somehow we forgot that we had to take Molly with us to the store so she could see all the wonderful new sights along the way.

Burning them lead us to a small glimpse of closure to a once innocent time in our lives.  Seeing the faces melt way into rubble felt more as if parting with a friend than a piece of plastic.  Through stories, pictures, and memories we will keep these toys alive although we will never again play with them.

Overhearing Power
By Crystal Powell, Tessa Medearis, Michelle & Megan 2010
Collaborative Instillation Art. Studio 2306, Oceanside.

Collaborative Instillation Art. Viewers enter an over-sized closet and are able to look through the shutter doors to view images of war, tragedy and powerful influences.  Dueling audio radiates from both sides of the closet. The left side is playing powerful speeches from figures such as Martian Luther King, Hitler, Winston Churchill and Bush etc. While the right side plays an instrumental soundtrack of eerie tunes.

 The combination of video, audio and lighting creates an environment that allows the viewer to feel as if they are hiding in a closet and peering in on something they shouldn't be seeing--the thoughts of a powerful figure as they are getting ready to leave the comfort of their own homes and enter into a reality where hard decisions must be made.

Interactive Gumball Machine
By Crystal Powell  2009
MiraCosta College Campus, Oceanside.

Crystal enticed students to decorate their recycled bottles and deposit them into a large sculpture that released gumballs. The combination of everyone's bottle art was the end result represents to this sculpture. It represents how most artwork today is just the product of recycling of someone else's idea.

Beauty arising from Shattered Losses
By Crystal Powell, Tessa Medearis, and John. 2010
Collaborative Instillation Art. Studio 2306, Oceanside.

 Although each of us had suffered from different amounts of loss in our lives, the three of us connected on the common fact that we knew what it felt like to hold onto the pain of losing someone and how shattered your life can feel in the aftermath of loss.

Using a broken windshield and a broken glass door, we carefully attached each individual piece of glass to a strand of clear wire. We than attached each completed strand to a triangle.  We chose a triangle to represent that there was three voices in this project and we chose three different sized triangles to represent the different amounts of loss we had each suffered.

The finale product was an amazingly beautiful chandelier that captured the light in every piece of glass as it moved around.  It showed that even though something is broken, it can be uniquely interesting in its own new way. Through this project we realized that we will never forget our loses but we will always try to find the beauty in every situation.

Steel Casting
Ball and Chain by Crystal Powell 2009
Advanced Sculpture project. MiraCosta College, Oceanside.

Casting involves pouring a liquid material into a mold which contains a hollow shape.  The solidifying part is what is known as casting and it is broken out of the mold after it has hardened. Casting is most commonly used to achieve complex shapes that would be otherwise difficult to achieve with other methods.

Here I created a mold out of foam and packed dirt around the foam until the box was full.  Than our instructor, Yoshi, poured steel into a hole left at the top of the box. After cooling, the box was lifted and the dirt revealed a very rough piece of art. After some  filing, sanding and good old fashion elbow grease, the finished product was a shinny work of art.

I currently had a solo show going on at the Blue Gate Gallery that contained my Yellow Collection. I placed my finished steel casting piece in front of the Collection as if it was trying to crawl away from the collection.  I was symbolizing my struggles to move on from being tied down to such a powerfully conceptual and personal collection. Around this time, much of my artistic inspiration was coming from my connections to my yellow collection and I knew that there was so much more that I wanted to get out there about myself as an artist.

The present at the end of the steel casting was to symbolize my collection as a "ball and chain," to my artistic inspiration. A bulk of the collection is made up of gifts that people have given to me to represent their support of my journey (or lack of a journey) with my father.

Raku Pots from Kiln to Trash Can
Advanced ceramics at MiraCosta College 2009

Ceramic pieces being removed from the kiln while glowing hot and placed in trash cans filled with combustible materials. This process causes the glazed areas to have a metallic effects and the exposed clay areas to turn matte black.