The Morro Bay Art Association’s Student Scholarship Show had so many entries and categories that it took 12 judges to select the winners.
Teams of two made selections from two-dimensional, threedimensional and photography, with county high school and colleges judged separately. Nearly $4,000 was awarded in this 26th annual competition. Prizes ranged from $100 to $500.
The show emphasizes original work created during art class enrollment.
High school student Hunter Tasseff not only took first place and second place for his creations in wood in the 3-D category, but won best of show as well. Tasseff has been woodworking since a shop class at Laguna Middle School five years ago.
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“It was a really good experience for me, and it really opened my eyes to what I could do,” said the 17-year-old, who attends San Luis Obispo High School, where he continues to take wood shop. “I just like working with my hands (as) a different way to express myself.”
His blue ribbon and best of show, “375 Steps,” is a large urnlike vessel formed with separate small squares in a segmented process.
“It’s put together piece by piece,” said Tasseff, which took about a month of solid work, two months total. The inside of the vessel’s opening is inlay.
Nate Holben of Cuesta College won first place in the 3-D college category for “Directions,” a bronze, and took second place as well, for “11/2/11.”
Morro Bay High School student Alyssa Hudson’s introduction to photography was also through a school class three years ago. Her “Simple Vibrance” took first place for photography for high school students. Although brilliantly colored flowers are the subject matter , Hudson’s composition is more abstract than realistic.
"As I’ve grown with photography, I like to do abstract things,” she said. Getting her own camera, a Canon Rebel XSI for her 16th birthday, opened up new worlds for her after being limited to the school camera that she could only use on campus. Hudson said she also likes to shoot animals, people and food. When she suddenly became intrigued by an open pea pod in her salad, it was like seeing such an item for the first time.
Alexander Silva, a Cal Poly student, took first place in photography for the college category for his black and white titled “Rebel Form.”
Cal Poly art major Rachel La Bonie, who earned first place in the college 2-D category for “Renewal 2,” took her first painting class less than two years ago, she said. Her winning oil painting of a woman resting her head on a table in a desolate-looking room has a disturbing quality.
“I wanted sort of a surreal type of experience,” said La Bonie. She also wanted to express how in life “sometimes things come together and other times they’re falling apart.” This and her “Renewal 1” have no specific meaning, said the 20-year-old. “I want them to be open to interpretation, to invoke thoughts and questions.”
Major Dalton of Morro Bay High School took first in 2-D for his intricate ink drawing “Crab.”
Event chair Carolyn Braun said the event not only gives students a chance to display their talents in an art gallery, but gives them a taste of being judged by professionals, and the experience of bringing in work ready to be hung.