First Time Artist Amongst Winners of Student Awards Juried Art Show

Winners of this year's entrants represented seven schools across the Conejo Valley.

The Westlake Village Art Guild, in conjunction with the City of Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council, held a reception and awards ceremony on Friday at the Reyes Adobe Historical Site for the 78 students whose works were selected to represent the 2013 Student Awards Juried Art Show.

"The purpose of the 2013 Student Awards Juried Art Show is to encourage and recognize, in a meaningful way, the dedicated teachers and talented students that enrich all communities in the region," said Craig Morton, CAC member and event coordinator.

The works on exhibit were chosen from 314 entrants from seven schools througout the Conejo Valley.

The judging team was comprised of three judges and three jury members. The artworks were then reviewed in three categories: photography & digital, ceramics and fine arts.

"Each piece was judged relative to the other piece in its category," said Dennis Griffen, a judge and first vice president of the Art Guild. "Then we look at composition, technical merit and creativity."

Allen Barooni, 17, won Best in Show for his elaborate scratchboard creation entitled "Dragon." The Oak Park High student said it was his very first such creation.

"I was simply amazed that it made it here," he said.

Juliett Chayet Cole, event chairwoman for the Art Guild, said the piece stood out amongst all of the entrants.

"When I first saw it, I knew it was gorgeous," she said.

The winning entries were:

  • Best of Show, 2-D Fine Art, Allen Barooni, Dragon
  • 1st Place, 2-D Fine Art, Aryana Polat, Crystals
  • 1st Place, 3-D, Rachel LaMonte, THE
  • 1st Place, Photo Digital Illustration, Alyssa Gu, The Bridge                                
  • 1st Place, Photo Digital Color, Marisa Asadurian, Electric Ecstasy
  • 1st Place, Photo Digital B&W, Samantha Prasopthum,  Skate or Die 

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




Sponsored by the Westlake Village Art Guild, hosted by the City of Agoura Hills’ Cultural Arts Council and supported by the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks,



314 entries from 118 Conejo Valley high school juniors and seniors were received. Each was evaluated on a scale from 1 to 10 by three jurors, without collaboration, on the following, equally weighted criteria: 1) Composition, 2) Technical Execution, 3) Creativity and 4) Overall Visual Impact. The jurors’ scores were added and entries with a combined score of 23 or higher (out of a possible 30) were invited to exhibit and compete for awards. Approximately 25% of entries met this demanding criterion.


The 78 works from 53 students juried into this Show will be judged and 21 awards and $1,425 in cash prizes will be presented at the Reception and Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 12, 2013 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the historic Reyes Adobe, located at 30400 Rainbow Crest Drive in Agoura Hills. Helane Freeman, an accomplished professional artist, an Agoura Hills resident and recipient of a Westlake Village Guild Award in 1982, will be the event’s guest speaker.


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