Frosh Tops Award List at Art Competition


Genie Lee and Mindy Luo

Coordinated by senior Maile Nomura and her mom, Denise Nomura, the 16th Lamorinda Arts Council Visual Arts Competition held an awards reception that featured 3-D and 2-D digital art as well as Photography at the Orinda Library on February 20.

Among the over 200 Lamorinda applicants were many Campolindo students who received accolades for their artwork, including freshman Larkin Stephanos, senior Shae Silva, junior Brighton Ying, freshman Andrew Parker, junior Taylor Floyd, and sophomore Tawny Fischer. Students from 10 area high schools participated in the contest.

According to Maile Nomura, the Lamorinda arts council elected her mom to be in charge of the event and then she became the student ambassador for the group. This is the Nomuras’ 4th and final year coordinating the event.

“I really like art and so does my mom and I just wanted to have a bonding opportunity with her and be part of the Lamorinda arts council,” said Maile Nomura.

As the Chairman of the event, Denise Nomura hoped that through the contest, “students would learn what it takes to submit their artwork and also the satisfaction of seeing it on display.”

Local artists judged the artworks in each of the 3 categories and awarded cash prizes to the top 3 pieces and additional honorable mentions. Judges included Pam McCauley, Marian Harris, Mark Coffey, Joe Bologna, Colin Selig, Lisa Lee, Grant Rusk, and Bill Klaproth. Winners received up to $300 in prize money.

Many students were encouraged by art instructor Jill Langston and photography teacher Collette Sweeney to enter the contest.

“When students get their work showcased in a place like this, they get to see their work relative to other high school students and to their peers and it allows them to think about how art is a form of communication and that it’s a wonderful experience,” explained Sweeney.

Despite being only a freshman in Langston’s Art 1 class, freshman Larkin Stephanos’ piece, “The Book Jacket,” won the Best in Show prize.

“I was excited but I don’t think I fully realized what that meant at the moment. I was just kind of shocked,” said Stephanos.

Like many of her peers, Stephanos submitted an art assignment she had completed for her class. “It was for our art final where we had to change the texture of an object. It just kind of popped into my head while I was thinking about it. It was more like just a fun project to me than a final art project,” said Stephanos. For her piece, Stephanos decided to cover a blazer jacket in dictionary pages.

Many art students appreciated the experience of getting to see the artwork of their peers.

“I liked seeing other people’s artworks. I was really impressed by a lot of them,” said Tawny Fischer, who received an honorable mention for her artwork, “Sporky the Pig.” “I will probably end up entering the competition next year, so getting to see what I was up against at the reception was really interesting.”

“I hope that a lot of people will go see the gallery at the Orinda library and just that more people are willing to submit their pieces so that everyone can see how talented people are here,” said Maile Nomura.

All entries in the VAC will continue to be on display until March 14 at the Orinda library.