Youm’s “Best of Show” Headlines Art Awards

Steven Wetterholm, Staff Writer

The Orinda Arts Council kicked off its ninth annual Student Visual Arts Competition at the Orinda Library Art Gallery on March 1st, showcasing the 2D and 3D art and photography of high school students living in or attending school in Orinda, Lafayette, or Moraga.

Sponsored by the Educational Foundation of Orinda, Lafayette Partners in Education, MEF, and Mechanics Bank, this event displays original art and photography entries submitted by students, and features a competition that awards cash and merit prizes for outstanding work.

All student entries were assessed by judges who consisted of professionals with experience in the categories that they judged.  The Orinda Arts Council accepted entries for categories that included 2D (painting, drawing, printmaking, mixed media, collage), 3D (ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, construction), and manual and digital arts photography.  The judging criteria was based on the artist’s creativity, originality, content, and degree of expertise in the chosen medium.

On March 7th, an awards reception was held at the Orinda Library Art Gallery to honor the winners of the competition.  Cougar artists and photographers earned eight awards, making Campolindo the most award-winning school.  Awards included a special “Best of Show” voters’ choice award and cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as honorable mention winners in each category, for a total of $2,550 in prizes.

Campolindo award winners included “Best of Show” winner Mary Youm,  2D category winners Erica Howland and Natalie Korich, who tied for 3rd place, Allison Easter, Emma Goodacre, Erin Hansen, and Steven Wetterholm who all earned Honorable Mention honors, and photography Honorable Mention winner Lizzie Mediati.

Youm was excited about winning “Best of Show.”  “I was really happy and surprised to win the ‘Best of Show’ award,” said Youm.  “I think that the Orinda show was awesome. The Orinda Library is an awesome venue for showing art, and it was really cool to see student work from other schools.  I also like how the show promotes the art programs in our schools, since I feel that they don’t get enough attention.”

Art teacher Jill Langston enthusiastically supports the Student Visual Arts Competition:   “The Orinda Art Show provides students with an opportunity to get out of the studio and to have their artwork interact with the community.  It’s a great opportunity to view and be viewed.  When I first began teaching at Campo, there were more student art shows, but over time they lost funding and disappeared.  The Orinda Arts Council has admirably continued on in their commitment to bring student artwork to the community.  We greatly look forward to participating in it each year.”

There is still time to view the student art exhibit, as it runs through March 28th at the Orinda Library Gallery.  Langston highly recommends the Orinda Arts Council show for museum goers, as she says “students can do amazing artwork.”

The Orinda Library Gallery is located at 24 Orinda Way in Orinda.  The gallery is located on the second floor of the library and is open for public viewing Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m.