Annual Student Art Exhibition, award ceremony recognizes student achievements
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The Cerritos College Fine Arts and Communications Department along with the Associated Students of Cerritos College presented its annual Student Art Exhibition followed by an award ceremony on Tuesday, April 29.
The exhibit highlights the work of over 137 emerging and mid-career students in the areas of: ceramics, painting, free-hand drawing, printmaking, 2-D design, graphic design, animation, film editing and photography.
Several awards were handed out throughout the ceremony; in each category there was a first place, two second places, two third places and two honorable mention awards.
The list of first place winners include: Ceramics/3D- Erika Juarez, Painting/Life Drawing- Erica Figueroa, Freehand Drawing- Hope Garcia, Printmaking/2D- Juan Manuel Valenzuela, Graphic Design/ Digital Illustration- Elizabeth Garibaldi, Animation/ Film Editing- Christopher Thomas, Photography- Michelle Tigrero.
Special Awards and scholarship recipients include: John Demott Awards- Dominique Luna, Jonathan Hernandez, Juan Manuel Vanlenzuela, Deborah Conroy Christina Martinez; Photography Faculty Choice Award- Samantha Cox, Andre Roland; The Victor Hugo Scholarship- Hope Garcia; Cassady Familiy Award- Sarah Arroyo; JoAnna Scilling scholarship- Olivia Love.
Hope Garcia was the only student to win two awards (placing second in Painting/ Life Drawing, first in Freehand Drawing and the Victor Hugo Scholarship) and a scholarship.
“I’m overwhelmed. I’m almost speechless.
I mean the teachers here at the school have such talent behind them in itself, in a way they’ve been mentors for me,” said Garcia.
Garcia wants people observing her artwork see it from an abstract perspective, “I want them to open their eyes to the fact that society isn’t one-sided,” stated Garcia.
The fine arts and communications faculty selected artists to include in the art exhibition and a jurist, Mario Ontevaros, art history professor at California State University Northridge, was brought in to select awards in seven different categories.
Over $4500, collectively, was awarded through various scholarships (Demont Award, Cassidy Award, Photo Faculty Choice Award and Schilling Art History Award) to deserving students.
Also, receiving recognition for her artwork, Itzel Romero was surprised to hear her name called out.
“I wasn’t expecting any kind of rewards for it, I just wanted to put it out there for personal satisfaction,” said Romero.
For the first time in Student Art Exhibition history was the presentation of the Schilling Art History Award.
The award was created by Dr. JoAnna Schilling, Cerritos College Vice President/Assistant Superintendent of Academic Affairs who contributed money and a membership to the Huntington Library to a deserving student.
“The event is meant to boost the students morale by recognizing their exceptional work done throughout the semester”, according to James MacDevitt, curator and director of the art gallery.
“It’s really just about giving deserving students encouragement and maybe a little money on the side and help them to make the difficult choice of continuing to pursue a career and a life in the arts…I think it’s a worth-while event,” said MacDevitt.
The art exhibition extends through May 16 and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday; but closes at 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday.