Art Contest Winners

2012: Alison Graham: "She Brings the Sun"

She Brings the Sun

Alison Graham
“She Brings the Sun”
Acrylic on Canvas
The basis of this painting is to bring awareness and care for our surroundings and also to portray growth. Students that choose to come to school here all carry their roots-their inherent characteristics and background-and are given the opportunity to grow and flourish in academics and in life. I chose to incorporate symbols from ancient Latin American art and combine them with scenery from our coast here in Humboldt County. The cactus and various plants are symbols that have been associated with fertility, water, and growth. The ocean in the background is also a symbol of prosperity and serenity. I chose to paint a crack in the rich soil to symbolize that students are open to growth, learning and new experiences. The water droplet represents the life-giving water, something that sustains us all.The main female figure is someone I hope all of us can resonate with. She is a symbol of mother earth, of joy, and of happiness and life. She brings the sun as well as the turning of each and every day we are able to live and learn.

2011: Andrea Castillo: "Spirit of the Salmon"

"Spirit of the Salmon" painting

Andrea Castillo
“Spirit of the Salmon”
Los Angeles
My vision of the acrylic piece “Spirit of the Salmon” is based on my experience at Humboldt State’s Native American Art of the North Coast seminar.  I chose salmon as a subject matter to focus on fertility, bounty, and good health of the local native tribes.  I explored the use of symbols and soothing colors to communicate the sensations I received during the experience and how I relate it to my own personal life.

Artist Andrea Castillo and "Spirit of the Salmon" painting