Student art festival incorporates ‘soul’

“You going get dollars!” exclaimed the little girl as Kaua‘i Museum’s Kalei Cadaoas announced Anna-Malia Santos of Kapa‘a Elementary School.

“It was her birthday yesterday,” the little girl continued to bubble with excitement. “And now she’s going to get dollars.”

Santos was a third-place winner of the Two Dimensional category for the elementary division of the Kaua‘i Museum’s 47th Annual Student Art Festival.

She and other winners in the annual art competition were presented awards at a reception Monday hosted by the Kaua‘i Museum and assisted by Terry Caplan of Island Hardware who stepped in as a major sponsor for the event this year.

“Look at the ribbons,” said Dale Rosenfeld, the educational coordinator at Kaua‘i Museum. “Before, they were so small you couldn’t see them. Now, with Island Hardware stepping in, you know which ones won which prizes.”

In addition to Santos, Tyrell Aipa-Rivera, first-place winner in the Two Dimensional, elementary school class, also represented Kapa‘a Elementary School.

Island School was the big winner in the elementary division with five winners, including a sweep in the Three Dimensional class where they won all three places. Winners in that division included Hayley Uliana, Kelly Culliney and Caycie Pascual.

Island School also took second and third place in the Photography division with Lukas Ishii, fidgeting nervously as he accepted his envelope for second place, and Jackson Evans taking third place.

Gabrielle Harrington of Kula School topped the Photography competition with her image of a lotus blossom.

Rebecca Fernandez of Kilauea School rounded out the elementary winners with a second place in the Two Dimensional class.

Kaua‘i High School art instructors Kevin Bulics and Susan Warren were thrilled when they discovered Raider students won six of the nine awards presented in the high school division. They were joined by Cadaoas who also expressed his surprise when he discovered the strong showing put forth by the Red Raider art students.

“We’ve been busy,” Warren said. “Every student is an artist. Every student is creative. It is our job to help them find focus.”

Warren said she encourages her students to include “soul” in their creations.

“We keep pushing on that,” she said. “And we’re lucky because Ms. Linda Smith, the school principal, is a believer in the arts since she has a background in music.”

Mattie Leninger and Jasmine Waipa got the top two spots in Photography, joined by Kelly Nichols and Eleisha Perreira copping the top two slots in the Two Dimensional category. Mallory Frey topped the Three Dimensional class with Catherine Martin, the only Raider junior, getting third place in the Three Dimensional competition.

Kula High School took two awards as Hannah Scoyni and Amber Loughead got third place honors in Photography and Two Dimensional, respectively.

Victor Rundbaken, a senior at Kapa‘a High School, rounded out the awards with a second place in Three Dimensional.

Warren said their students have been busy, opting not to participate in the recent Kaha Ki‘i Congressional Art competition.

“We believe in showing on the island,” Warren said. “The students have been overwhelmed with work. We have 45 pieces in this show alone.”

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