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McCandliss Art Awards Winners Named

Eight local artists will be presented with the 2008 Gayle McCandliss Art Awards at the  June 3 Chula Vista City Council meeting.  The awards, given annually to individuals and community organizations who have supported the arts in Chula Vista, are presented in  memory of the late Mayor Gayle McCandliss.

The City Council meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the Council Chambers at
276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista.

Two categories of awards—Rising Star and Bravo-- will be presented this year.
Rising Star winners include:

Richard Amezola of Chula Vista High School, a gifted pianist capable of playing advanced music who has also displayed considerable talent in composing original musical arrangements. His career goal is to become a professional composer, arranger and pianist.

Arthur Armenta, IV of EastLake High School, an accomplished visual artist whose talents are greatly respected by his teachers and peers. Armenta was recently voted “most artistic” student at his school.

Gloria Casillas is an exceptionally gifted visual artist who has won numerous special awards throughout her high school career at Chula Vista High School. Most recently, a beautiful self-portrait, brought her second place in the 51st District’s “Congressional Art Competition.”

Nicole Rose Dumas is a dance student at Eastlake High School. She has a ten-year history of outstanding dance performances throughout the community. Dumas plans to attend San Diego State University where she will continue her studies as a dancer at the college level.

Joseph Sanchez’s skills are drawing, painting and graphic design. His talents were on display at both this year and last year’s Sweetwater Union High School District Art Show. Sanchez, a student at EastLake High School, intends to study Graphic Design and Illustration in college. 

Nathan Suslovic has demonstrated a variety of artistic skills while performing major acting roles in the School for the Creative and Performing Arts Drama Program. In addition, he is also a musician studying both guitar and piano. Suslovic is also proficient in the field of technical theatre and hopes to attend a university that offers a challenging course of study for theatre majors.

Monica Villegas is an integral member of Chula Vista High School’s dance team, Dance Force. She has displayed virtuosity as a dancer in many forms ranging from tap to ballet, jazz to modern and even hip-hop!  Villegas looks forward to a career as a professional dancer and has been recently accepted into the dance program at UCSD.

The McCandliss Bravo Award is given in recognition of exceptional community service. Winners are individuals whose work has helped to build community pride and appreciation of the arts and culture in Chula Vista. 

This year’s Bravo Award is given to Ofelia Alvarado, an active member of the Chula Vista Art Guild and the current Art Mart chairperson. Her murals and paintings can be seen throughout Chula Vista in schools, churches, local businesses and private homes. Alvarado has been recognized by the Chula Vista Elementary School District for her extensive volunteer work in painting murals and illustrating children’s books for the San Diego Office of Education.  Currently, she serves as an art instructor for both children and adults at various Chula Vista recreation centers.

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