GrandparentShowRibbon2017 Grandparent Portrait Show Winners

The 2017 Grandparent Portrait Show, designed to connect students with their family roots and instill pride, attracted more than 400 entries. Of these, 180 finalists were exhibited at the Faulkner Gallery. Twelve student artists whose submissions were judged to be outstanding were given cash awards and Ribbons of Merit. Five students were selected to receive ribbons of Honorable Mention.


Best of Show Award
Santa Barbara Art Association

Artist: Mia Franco

Media: Oil

School: San Marcos High School

Mia Franco painted this portrait of the joy expressed by her great grandparents when they first met a grandchild. Mia says her great grandmother Mary passed away when Mia was twelve, but she remembers her as a small, headstrong, lively person. “She would laugh and punch me in the arm!”

Mia is in the fourth generation of a Santa Barbara family. She is a Senior at San Marcos High School where her art teacher is Michelle Rainville. She says art is her passion and she will decide between several art schools for college. Mia usually works realistically and hopes to pursue illustration and animation as a career.

The American Riviera Bank Award

Artist: Emily La

Media: Watercolor, Pencil

School: Dos Pueblos High School

Emily’s grandmother “Dot” moved to Santa Barbara a few years ago. Emily says she is very energetic and fun and you can see it in the way Emily captured her lively expression. Emily has been interested in art all her life and renewed her interest as a junior at Dos Pueblos High School with her teacher Kevin Gleason. She enjoyed working with colored pencils on this portrait because they allowed her to create the details in her portrait while water color was used for the more flowing background. Now a senior, Emily will probably go to a UC school and continue with her interests in art, music and science.

The Aquiesse Award

Artist: Rena Yang

Media: Oil, Gouache

School: Dos Pueblos High School

Rena’s portrait of her grandmother is an experiment from start to finish. She didn’t want to use realistic skin tones so challenged herself to find the shapes and values in reds and yellows. She started the portrait in oil, but then decided to layer dark blue gouache on top to get more contrast and details. Rena’s grandmother came to Santa Barbara from Shaoyang, China twenty years ago. She has always lived with Rena’s family. Rena is a junior in Kevin Gleason’s art class at Dos Pueblos High School. Art has always been her passion and she currently enjoys experimenting with digital art.

The Channel City Camera Club Award for Photography

Artist: Jose Rodrigo Fuentes Deceano

Media: Mixed Media

School: La Cumbre Junior High

Jose is an eighth grade student in Kelly Mitchell’s La Cumbre Junior High School art class. Jose’s grandmother lives in Mexico and he has not seen her for some time, but they have frequent phone conversations. Jose worked with his teacher to digitize a family photo and turn it into a mixed media piece with acrylic paint.

The Gwen T. Dawson Award

Artist: Amoreena Hammond

Media: Acrylic Paint on Paper

School: San Marcos High School

Amoreena didn’t think of herself as an artist before she entered Katie Alexander’s art class at San Marcos High School.  She was surprised when the method of taking a photo, digitizing it to five values (“posterizing”) and creating a portrait using a grid resulted in a successful monochromatic work.  She enjoyed that process so much that she decided to repeat it again for her portrait of her grandmother.  “Grandma always wears red lipstick,” said Amoreena, so she added the red which gives her portrait its extra zing.  Amoreena is a sophomore who also enjoys playing guitar and ukulele.  Her grandma lives in Santa Barbara.  “She always takes us to fun things and teaches us manners.”

The Foose Design Award

Artist: Yun-Pei Lee

Media: Mixed Media

School: San Marcos High School

Yun-Pei Lee was born in Taiwan and came to Santa Barbara when she was four years old. Her grandma still lives in Taiwan and when Yun-Pei visited her, they went hiking in the mountains. Yun-Pei decided to use coffee as a medium to paint the Taiwanese mountains on a surface of newsprint. The figures were then painted with a combination of coffee and acrylic paint. Yun-Pei is a senior in Michelle Rainville’s class at San Marcos High School. She plans to attend UCSB next year and pursue her main interest in science with art as her hobby.

The Bonnie Hill Award

Artist: Josie Doughty

Media: Pencil, Charcoal

School: Dos Pueblos High School

Josie never met her grandfather. He died before she was born, so Josie chose this opportunity to get to know him by focusing on his face in this detailed portrait in charcoal pencil. Josie enjoys working on realistic, detailed artwork as a senior in Kevin Gleason’s art class at Dos Pueblos High School.  She plans to be a veterinarian, but she believes that art will always be her hobby because she’s been an artist “since kindergarten.”

The Kovacs Family Award

Artist: Francisco Oropeza

Media: Clay, Acrylic Paint

School: Dos Pueblos High School

Francisco discovered his enjoyment of working in clay in Eliesa Bollinger’s Ceramics class at Dos Pueblos High School. He enjoys working with his hands the way his grandfather does on his farm in Michoacan, Mexico. He frequently visited his grandfather and admires him as a hard worker. The family visited last summer before his grandfather passed away. Francisco is a Senior and is deciding about where to focus after graduation, but hopes that art will always be a hobby.

The La Arcada Plaza Award

Artist: Qichao Xu

Media: pencil

School: San Marcos High School

Quichao was born in Hong Kong and moved to Santa Barbara with his family four years ago. His  grandfather still lives in Hong Kong and visited the family in Santa Barbara last year. Art is very important to Quichao and he worked with his teacher Michelle Rainville at San Marcos High School to digitize a photograph of his grandfather. He exaggerated the features and the planes on his face in this colored pencil drawing giving strength to the design of the portrait.

The Audie Love Award

Artist: Dawson Dewan

Media: Charcoal on Paper

School: San Marcos High School

Art has been Dawson’s interest for most of his life. He is a Junior at San Marcos and this charcoal pencil drawing was made in Michelle Rainville’s class.  Dawson said he took a long time to work on the intricate values in this portrait.  Dawson didn’t know his grandfathers so he decided to draw his Uncle John who played an important part in Dawson’s and his brothers’ lives.  “He lived in Texas so we went swimming with him at the beach when he visited Santa Barbara.”  Dawson’s uncle died a few years ago and this portrait is a tribute to him. Dawson hopes to combine his interest in art with his interest in nature as he pursues his education.

The Thomas and Willa Mann Award

Artist: Keylin Davenport

Media: Charcoal

School: Santa Barbaara High School

Keylin decided to create a portrait that had a context. His family lives with his grandparents, so Keylin and his grandfather selected this photo from 1960 when he was stationed in the Philippines. Keylin liked the ambiguity of the scene of a soldier taking a “short break” without a clue to time, place or whether or not there is a battle. Thankfully Keylin’s grandfather completed his service before the Viet Nam war began. Keylin is a senior and has been a student in the VADA program at Santa Barbara High School for three years. His teacher is Daniel Barnett. Keylin hopes to carry his art studies to animation and movies. He’ll start his college at SBCC’s excellent art department, then transfer to an art school.

The Worldview Pictures Award

Artist: Lucas Hester

Media: Collage

School: La Colina Junior High School

Lucas Hester is an eighth grade student in Nicole De Leon’s art class at La Colina High School. His mother is also an artist and art teacher, and art has always been part of his life. It shows in the freedom he felt to combine photography and collage in this photograph of his grandmother. Lucas photo-shopped an old photo to give it a more linear black and white character. He chose the collage words and wings to represent his grandmother’s personality. “She is very kind and loving and she is also fun.” Lucas plans to pursue art in high school. He also enjoys history and English.

Honorable Mention 

Artist: Marisa Arellanes

Media: Graphite

School: San Marcos High School

Honorable Mention

Artist: Becky Au

Media: Digital Art

School: Dos Pueblos High School

Honorable Mention

Artist: Amanda Brex

Media: Charcaol, Colored Pencil

School: San Marcos High School

Honorable Mention

Artist: Sophie Cameron

Media: Charcoal

School: Dos Pueblos High School

Honorable Mention

Artist: Emily Sam

Media: Watercolor, Colored Pencil

School: Dos Pueblos High School