Twenty-six Kaua‘i students in kindergarten through grade 5 have an opportunity to advance to the international level of the Beauty Through the Eyes of a Child painting contest sponsored by the Mokichi Okada Association.
Names of the 26 finalists were announced during a reception March 25 at the Lihu‘e Civic Center, where the entries from Kaua‘i were on display for the public.
Association officials said this is the second year it has hosted the contest, which attracted “a lot more entries than last year’s contest.”
The children were given an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents in depicting their expression of “living in this beautiful paradise we call Kaua‘i.”
Selections were chosen based on artistic qualities as well as the happiness expressed in the students’ work.
Blaze Dela Cruz, in the kindergarten category, was selected Best in Show for his depiction of “fishing.”
He is joined by Gabe Bustillos and Jacob Grossman.
Makenyah Okiegar, Kimberly Vidinha and Isabella Oglesby were named tops in the first grade division. Tapa Andrade, Kai Nonaka, Kyra McMurray, Maymen Niheu-Kamaka and Damien Akita were chosen in the second grade division.
Bergen Ceballos, Rachele Higashi and Raelee Samio were selected for the third grade division. Lauren Meske, Kayliah Salud, Cyrus Smrekar, Joshua Viernes and Kallen Wachi got the nods for the fourth grade division.
Brandie Aguinaldo, Ariel Ramseth, Gabrielle Peleras, Maeva Jensen, Victoria Perreira, Sarah Santos and Kaya Evens were selected from the fifth grade division.
The selected entries have been forwarded to O‘ahu, where they will be on display at the Honolulu Academy of Creative Arts in the Linekona Art Center until May 26, when the statewide awards ceremony will take place.
The Mokichi Okada Association has a wellness center located on Ekahi Street in Lihu‘e.
Visit www.moahawaii.org for more information.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.