There were 12 winners in 12 categories announced on Thursday at the closing Zoom reception of the 2021 Mass Appeal Student Exhibition, with each artist taking home a $100 scholarship award from the OCC Foundation, marking another year of student artistic achievements at Orange Coast College. 

With 130 different works, this year saw even more entries than last year. By using Instagram as the medium, the gallery was able to post all entries. Had the show been in person, it would have been limited to half that amount due to space limitations, said Tyler Stallings, Director of OCC’s Doyle Arts Pavilion.

The student exhibition was co-curated and juried by art history major Lisa Marie Garbutt,  fashion major Shelby Sellers, and Visual and Performing Arts Department faculty Leland Paxton. Garbutt also co-curated last year’s exhibition and took on an even bigger role this year, becoming the Lead Student Curator of the event.

Together, the small team had the difficult job of selecting 12 winners out of 130 entries. Ram Nouri won the “Renaissance Award: Most Skillful” for his painting entitled “The Hermit.” Sam Lay won the “Leonardo da Vinci Award: Most Innovative” for his 3D geometric design entitled “Reverie Tower,” which was made using a coding program called Grasshopper. Deanna Lim took home the “Van Gogh Award: Best Painting” for her digital painting entitled “See You.”

Mar Negrete won the “Michelangelo Award: Best Sculpture” for her sculpture entitled “Larval Manticore.”  The “Claude Monet Award: Nature Art” went to Patricia Arana for her untitled digital photo work. Lisa Guillory took home the “Albrecht Dürer Award: Best Technical” for her mixed-media piece entitled “Guo Pei Haute Couture.”

The “Dorothea Lange Award- Iconology and Symbolism” went to Chihiro Koga for her mixed media photo entitled “Rainy Day.” Eri Whiting took home the “Niépce Award: Photography” for her photographic work “All Equally Alone.” The “Dwiggins Award: Best Design” went to Tian Bu for “Floating Sea” a mixed media piece suspended by strings. Carla Galanti’s micropen on watercolor paper entitled “Portrait of France Gall” garnered the “Rockwell Award: Best Illustrator.”

Tin Phun won the “Muybridge Award: Best Storyteller” for his digital drawing entitled “I Will Always Be Here”. And the “Nam June Paik Award: Best Video” went to Kevin Rosas for his short video entitled “Starlight Theatre.”

This year specifically saw more video entries with some spoken word, poetry and short narratives. The dominant media was digital photography. Stallings said that the numerous entries inspired the jury to create categories such as “Portraits” and “Nature” so that the photography could be spread out evenly over the 10-day roll-out period, which allowed the curators to post the works gradually and give viewers a chance to absorb it all in stages.

The awards ceremony on Zoom was well attended. OCC President Angelica Suarez said a few words of congratulations to the winners and the curators. Among the winners present at the ceremony was film major Kevin Rosas who won the award for Best Video. Rosas was shocked by the win, having made his film for his final project in the Film 3 class. He just saw it as an assignment.

“I did not expect any audience besides my classmates, my professor and my friends. So, I decided to have fun with it and make a film that I fully expected to resonate with just them. I did not see anyone outside of my circle getting it,” he said.

Also present at the ceremony was photography and film and television major Lisa Guillory, winner of the award for Best Technical, her piece “Guo Pei Haute Couture,” that was inspired by Rihanna’s appearance on the red carpet at The Met in 2015 in a gold and silk gown designed by Pei. 

“I was truly stunned and extremely happy and honored to have been selected as the winner of the Albrecht Durer Award: Best Technical,” Guillory said.

The virtual exhibition is still available for viewing on the gallery's Instagram page.

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