Itzel Arrellano Rocha’s winning artwork, ‘Fish Scale - Pink.’

Itzel Arrellano Rocha’s winning artwork, ‘Fish Scale – Pink.’ (Itzel Arrellano Rocha)

Itzel Arrellano Rocha won first place and a prize of $250 for his artwork titled “Fish Scale – Pink” in the Santa Barbara Sister Cities 2022 Young Artist Showcase competition. The contest theme was Generation Rescue: Sustainable Water for All.

Santa Barbara Sister Cities members, friends and young artists gathered for the recent event at the home of Gil and Marti Garcia, long-time board members of the Santa Barbara – Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee, to participate in the reception, viewing and judging of the Young Artist Showcase.

Other winning artists were: Chloe Copeland, second place, $150; Veronique Durham, third place, $100; and Celia Louis and Hannah Lovejoy, honorable mention. There were 39 local students, ages 13-18, who submitted their art with written descriptions for consideration.

Chloe Copeland’s ‘Glass of Water’ took second place.

Chloe Copeland’s ‘Glass of Water’ took second place. (Chloe Copeland)

Winners will participate in the international competition in Puerto Vallarta later this year as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Santa Barbara International Sister Cities.

Local judges Kathy Koury and Ann Hefferman said it was a challenge to reach the final selections due to so many submissions this year and the insightful representation of the theme by the students.

Climate with its ongoing changes that impact the local and global communities was selected as the focus of this year’s Young Artists Showcase because youth are seen as the key to tackling this reality.

Event hosts Marti and Gil Garcia commended area art teachers who assisted the young artists with their outstanding work. Sponsors for the artist prizes included Pacific Premier Bank and Santa Barbara/Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities Committee.
Sister Cities International promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation, one individual, one community at a time. Current Santa Barbara Sister Cities include Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Toba, Japan; Patras, Greece; Weihai, China; Kotor, Montenegro; and San Juan, Philippines.

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