Zombies, ‘Avatar’ Among Inspiration for Winners of 2014 Student Awards Juried Art Show

“Awake” and “Entitlement” were among the winning entries at Friday night’s Student Juried Awards Art Show and reception, sponsored by the Westlake Village Art Guild, in conjunction with the City of Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council and supported by the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks. Held at the Reyes Adobe Historical Site, the artistic works of 79 students were selected to represent the Conejo Valley.

“[We] share the common goals of helping to, first, create a nurturing environment in which the arts can thrive and, secondly, firmly establish the Greater Conejo Valley as a destination for all the arts and one that consistently produces world class artists,” said Craig Morton, show chair. “The annual WVAG Student Awards Juried Show is an important part of that effort and I am delighted to be a part of it.”

The works on exhibit were chosen from 403 entrants from seven schools throughout the Conejo Valley.

The judging team was comprised of three judges and three jury members. The artworks were then reviewed in five categories: photography & digital, ceramics and fine arts. According to program rules, artworks are judged relative to other pieces in its category; then they are regarded by composition, technical merit and creativity.

Pamela Moidel, 16, won first place for her 2D fine art piece, “Awake.” The Agoura High junior said she is honored for the recognition of her work that was inspired by “an undead, stressed-out zombie vibe… After seeing all of the phenomenal artwork in the gallery, I was shocked that I had placed at all.”

Sierra Lillian, 16, said her winning 3D piece, “Sleeping Appa,” was influenced by the television show Avatar: The Last Airbender. “I felt so excited and nervous when they called my name,” said the Agoura High junior. “I did not realize how lucky I was to be awarded until I went back into the gallery and saw how many beautiful art pieces were not awarded. It is definitely a huge honor, in my eyes, to have won.”

Alyssa Gu, 16, awarded for her digital illustration “Meraki” said that winning served as a huge confidence booster. “There are always so many artists that are better in the world, but each award serves to remind me that I, too, have worked hard to stick out,” said the Oaks Christian senior. “I feel like it marks my growth as an artist. I also greatly appreciate the fact that my success has helped garner more interest in digital painting and illustration, which is a very new, emerging, but popular, medium that the majority of the artistic community would not necessarily know a lot about.”

The winning entries were:

  • Best of Show – “Entitlement” by Kyle Walker (Agoura Hills High School)
  • 1st Place – 2-D Fine Art: “Awake” by Pamela Moidel (Agoura Hills High School)
  • 1st Place – 3-D Fine Art: “Sleeping Appa” by Sierra Lillian (Agoura Hills High School)
  • 1st Place – Photo & Digital COLOR: “NYC Passion” by Tyler Rhode (Oaks Christian High School)
  • 1st Place – Photo & Digital MONOCHROME: Wimmer by Allison Paulson (Newbury Park High School)
  • 1st Place – Digital Illustration: Meraki by Alyssa Gu (Oaks Christian High School)

Approximately $2,000 in cash awards were handed out.

Below is a gallery of the winning photos:


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