The future is bright for artists in Solano County.
McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fairgrounds hosted the best and brightest young artists on Saturday as the Solano County Department of Education hosted the ‘Solano Art Showcase: Ignite’ event which showcased 400 works of art from students from 24 different schools and grades ranging from fourth to twelfth.
Other partners who helped organize the presentation were Fighting Back Partnership, Solano Youth Resiliency Summit, Solano Friday Night Live Partner, Rio Vista ATOD Alliance, VibeSolano and Nature of Sound.
The judges examined each of the pieces, honoring prizes, among others, Armijo junior Jasmine Hernandez. She was at the front of the room when she immediately noticed that her oil painting, “Night Walk” had won Best in Show.
“I was very surprised to have won,” Hernandez said as she looked at her award and her art as her parents looked on. “It took a long time, but I guess I just assumed someone else would win.”
Hernandez said her art teacher assigned a few options to take. She says she liked the one from “Night Walk”.
“I liked how colorful it was and how there were people and I like the umbrella and the bench,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez then looked at his painting a little closer.
“I don’t know, next time I think I can do even better,” Hernandez said. “As a perfectionist, I see little white spaces that I could have done better with.”
Hernandez said she would one day either be an art teacher or maybe even a graphic designer.
Pam and Steve Conner didn’t know anyone who had attended the event, but still came over from Vacaville to see the talent displayed at the fairgrounds.
“I’m impressed not only by the art, but also by the age of the children who make it,” said Pam Conner. “There are so many styles here. Some are a little dark, but you look at them and you can tell the artist was trying to get a message across.
Pam said she noticed the event on Facebook and was happy to visit this event.
“We’ve noticed that art is coming back into classrooms more and more and I think that’s a really good thing because it was a choice – this or PE,” Pam Conner said. “We still need music, art, etc. in this world. For children, this is often how they express themselves and tell us what they are.
Art was divided into five divisions, with Division I being fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, Division 2 being seventh and eighth grades, Division III being high school juniors and sophomores, and Division 4 being juniors and seniors in high school.
It was a separate special category not yet ranked, Division 5, which had an artwork that was the favorite of Ken Scarberry, the Director of Youth Development for the Solano Office of Education. The two pieces of art Scarberry liked were both by Mariani Ramos, a sixth-grader who drew “Portrait of Mom” and “Untitled.”
Scarberry was thrilled to have the event in person again.
“Our goal is to help promote young artists,” Scarberry said. “Each school has an art teacher that we coordinate with and that’s been great. We like the fact that in the future we even try to expand. We now have outside artists and static art, which is completely digital.
Rebecca Floyd, youth development project coordinator for the Solano County Office of Education, said the venue “showcases some really talented students.”
“There’s such a wide range of good things out there,” Floyd said. “You have mixed media, watercolor and an exhibition of masks. There are over 400 works of art and they are all amazing. I’m super excited to get it back.