Congratulations to Joey Lopes, the 2021 MAA Art Scholarship recipient
This spring, the MAA awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Joey Lopes, an advanced Digital Media Arts student at Alhambra High School. Online learning during COVID has been tough on a number of students, but Joey made the transition effortlessly and showed self-discipline, time management, and communication skills in completing difficult technical projects. Joey plans to attend Diablo Valley College before transferring to a four-year school to finish his degree. He credits his teacher, Denise Fuller, as his biggest guide in digital media arts.
“Art is a way of life for me”, Joey explains, “when I picture the world around me, I think vividly about what I can do to interpret that within Photoshop. When I think of my own personal life wishes, I believe that my main wish is to continue developing my knowledge of what is possible within this digital world…. “My art means everything to me”, he says. “My way of thinking, my workflow, my own struggles with anxiety and stress are all represented by my art. Whenever I feel stressed and/or anxious, I open Photoshop and go to work. I try to turn my quite abstract and totally random thoughts into something concrete and something that can be seen and understood by anyone you may show it to.”
MAA wishes him the best as his journey in the arts continues to unfold.
2020-2021 Teacher Grant Recipients
Although the process may be different in this unusual year, MAA found that teachers still appreciated getting funds for art materials that could be distributed to schools for family pick-ups. Five teachers received close to $300 each for a variety of planned projects with students. At Alhambra High School Denise Fuller will obtain supplies for making piñatas, 3D Picasso faces, and animal portraits. Kristen Paradiso’s students will be using pre-stretched canvas and scratchboard for projects. And at the Junior High Katie Collins plans projects with watercolor sets. Students of Jacqui Chapman will be making Mesoamerican headdresses, masks, and puppet dragons. Pam Galletti at John Muir plans Pioneer Day activities with her students and will order paint pen sets.
Last year Pam’s students created the amazing octopus paintings which were shown at the Martinez Library before it closed in March. Our thanks go out to the teachers in an especially challenging time to make sure that art remains part of the learning activities for students – even if done remotely.
2020 Art Scholarships Awarded
In what turned out to be a very different season for graduating seniors, Alhambra students proved resilient and adaptable to dramatic change. Along with cancellation of a traditional graduation ceremony and other senior events was the Awards Ceremony when scholarships are normally handed out. Instead, seniors participated in a Video Awards Show on May 20. Among those honored were four talented seniors recognized for their achievements in the Arts.
Amberly Bateman was involved in three Drama productions at Alhambra. She has been an actor and dancer and has taken art classes throughout high school. Her projects have included digital drawings, short animations, sculptures, paintings, and a mural. She has been accepted at Brigham Young University, Idaho in the fall where she will be studying Illustration before transferring to BYU, Provo for a double major in Animation and Illustration. Her eventual aim is to work for Pixar.
Elam Bender has contributed to eight theatre productions as a Theatre Tech. His expertise has helped to transform stages by monitoring spotlights and microphones. He has also used skills in Stagecraft to create beautiful and ornate sets to complement the drama productions. Elam plans to attend DVC to study Film and the Visual Arts before transferring to UC Berkeley or UCLA. Eventually, he wants to work on a film crew as a film producer.
Amaya DeShasier has been involved in art classes every year in high school and has focused on skills in drawing, painting, and set design. She has already taken an art class at DVC and has been accepted at Humboldt State University.
Jennifer Rualo plans to major in Architecture and has created artistic works in watercolor, acrylics, colored pencils, charcoal, and wood burning, among other mediums. Some of her projects have related to social justice issues. She has participated in internships at an architectural firm and with a home builder. She is drawn to architecture because it is a form of art that blends with Math and Physics. She has been accepted at Cal Poly Pomona and at the California College of the Arts.
We wish these young artists the best as they continue their paths in the Arts.
2019-2020 Teacher Grants Awarded
MAA just awarded over $2000 to local teachers to fund materials for art projects in their classrooms. Purchases will include paints, brushes, a variety of papers, display boards, tiles, art journals, card stock, and markers. One project planned by Kristen Paradiso at Alhambra High School is termed a “Memory Project” where students will paint portraits of refugee children from photos sent to them. Then the Martinez students send the portraits to the children as gifts.
Annual funding for the grants is provided by membership dues, proceeds from Art in the Park and other MAA events and generous donors.
Pictured is Katie Collins, one of the great teachers who received a grant this year, standing by her students’ work at Martinez Junior High
Pictured are three of the Alhambra High School art teachers who were among the recipients this year.
Left to Right: Denise Fuller, Kristen Paradiso, MAA Grant Coordinator/retired teacher Carol Wiley, and Allison Fairchild.
2018-2019 Art Grants for Martinez School Teachers
Top Left: Rosalind Lao-Brooks, Top Center: Julie Lloren, Top Right: Hunter Trantham; Bottom Left: Skylar Wondrusch, Bottom Right: Claire Casaus
2019 Scholarship Winners Announced
The Martinez Arts Association granted $3000 in scholarships to four seniors from Alhambra High School this year and one from Vicente Martinez High School. All worked hard and are deserving of recognition. Alhambra students Rosalind Lao-Brooks, Julia Lloren, Hunter Trantham, and Skylar Wondrusch were recognized on May 29, and Vicente student Claire Casaus was recognized on June 5.
Rosalind Lao-Brooks did stage design on five shows and has done drawing for Mock Trial. In her sophomore year she won the Best Artist award and had the opportunity to go to state competition. Rosalind has been accepted at UC Davis and plans to pursue a career in illustrating books or in opening a small business.
Julie Lloren performed in nearly every drama production since coming to Alhambra. She was in choir for eleven years and took voice lessons for seven years. Shows she participated in include Brothers Grimm, Urinetown, Laramie Project, and The Drowsy Chaperone. Julie has been accepted at San Diego State University and plans on majoring in Performing Arts. Her emphasis will be in Musical Theater, and she intends to acquire a teaching credential.
Hunter Trantham participated in the Digital Art Career Pathway at Alhambra. He worked on projects for the City of Martinez, Martinez Unified School District, and for various non-profits and small businesses in Martinez. He has already earned three college credits in Advanced Digital Art. He plans on attending Chico State University and will study Game Design and 2D Animation. After college he intends to pursue work in the field of animation or work as a digital media artist.
Skylar Wondrusch has been involved in over 20 productions, has taken three years of vocal lessons, six theater classes, and has taken dance workshops. She has sung for patients in nursing homes, the VA Hospital, and for hospice patients. She will be majoring in Musical Theater at Chico State or San Diego State University. She plans on getting her MFA in Voice after earning her BA and intends to become a high school Drama teacher.
Claire Casaus graduated from Vicente Martinez High School and demonstrated ability in drawing, painting, printmaking, and design. She has been taking a Drawing and Color Class at DVC and intends to continue taking classes and will pursue a career in Art. She then intends to train to become a tattoo artist.
2018 Scholarship Winners Announced
The Martinez Arts Association awarded four local seniors scholarships at the May 29th Awards Assembly at Alhambra High School. They are: Dylan Gregory, Harmony Soffer, Tyler Caspar, and Tiauna McClenahan. All are talented and deserving young people in our community.
Tyler Caspar wants to be an actor and has participated in eight performances in high school.
He plans to go to DVC and then UCLA to study Theater.
Dylan Gregory plans to pursue a career in film as a Director and Writer. He has been accepted at Arizona State University's film production program. Dylan also plays cello and has been part of a Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, and String Quartet.
Tiauna McClenahan's works focus on portraits, and she plans to minor in Art at DVC. She also has experience as an actress.
Harmony Soffer plans to pursue a career in Art Therapy and Psychology. She will spend two years at DVC before transferring to a four year school.
All four students come with terrific recommendations from their teachers, and MAA is pleased to support them in their continued ventures.
2017 Scholarship Winners
The Martinez Arts Association has awarded $1,000 in scholarships to two seniors from Alhambra High School who plan to keep art in their futures.
Gabrielle Solis describes drama as “an art I love so deeply” and enjoys making people “feel something” when she performs. Gabrielle has been accepted at Sonoma State University, Humboldt State, and three universities in Oregon. Clearly she has a choice where to earn her minor in Theater Arts and obtain a teaching credential. Gabrielle was a student teacher for middle school drama classes and plans to be a Drama teacher for middle school or high school students.
Aaron Sullivan has a variety of experience working on sculpture pieces, mural art, designing posters and T-shirts, and helping to build a house for Habitat For Humanity in New Orleans. He has been accepted at the University of Nevada, Reno and hopes to incorporate design elements into computer science work.
MAA supports the arts in local schools through teacher grants and student scholarships. The scholarship program is intended to support students’ educational goals in the arts, and is primarily funded by MAA’s annual Art in the Park event, which is coming up August 20th.