Huang, Kim, Palacios, Nae top Pacifica Art Contest


Grace Christian Academy’s Victoria En Mei Huang poses with her classmates after winning first place in the traditional category one of the 9th Annual Pacifica Art Contest. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)

Pacifica Insurance Underwriters, Inc. announced last week the four top winners of the 9th Annual Pacifica Art Contest, with each of the winners topping their respective categories.

Grace Christian Academy’s Victoria En Mei Huang won first place in the traditional category one, Marianas High School’s Alyssa Kim won first place in traditional category two, Mount Carmel School’s Tricia Palacios won first place in the digital category and Saipan Community School’s Daniel Nae won first place in the three-dimensional category.

Pacifica Insurance Underwriters, Inc. launched the art contest earlier this year with the theme “Living COVID-19 Safe,” encouraging health and safety above all else. The contest gathered a total of 177 entries from artists residing on Saipan and Rota.

Participants of this year’s contest were able to submit artwork for competitive entry in either the traditional, digital or three-dimensional categories. The digital and three-dimensional categories were added last year to allow flexibility for the creation of artwork through digital applications/software and those built in a three-dimensional format with the use of clay, wood, and related mediums. The goal of the contest with the added categories was to expand opportunities and to incentivize artists to think outside of the box and allow creative flexibility.

Marianas High School’s Alyssa Kim is presented with her prize after winning first place in traditional category two of the 9th Annual Pacifica Art Contest.


Mount Carmel School student Tricia Palacios, center, is presented with her award for winning first place in the 9th Annual Pacifica Art Contest. Others in the photo are, from left, MCS acting principal Filmah Buenaflor and Pacifica Insurance representative Dionne Camacho.


Saipan Community School’s Daniel Nae wins first place in the three-dimensional category of the 9th Annual Pacifica Art Contest.


Contest judges, from left, Allstar/Boarderline manager Sidney Quan, Mind2Muscle owner Cherese Palacios, and Turnkey Solutions managing partner Jerry Lin.

Contest judges included Mind2Muscle owner Cherese Palacios, Allstar/Boarderline manager Sidney Quan, and Turnkey Solutions managing partner Jerry Lin.

“As is the case each year, we are once again, blown away by the level of talent that continues to exceed expectations during this year’s Pacifica Art Contest. We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming rate of participation by our talented local artists and for the continued support of teachers and school administrators throughout the CNMI who have been instrumental in the success of this art program since it was first established nine years ago,” said company president and CEO Shirley Sablan. “Special thanks to Jerry Lin, Sidney Quan and Cherese Palacios for accepting to take on the most difficult task of judging and we could not be more pleased with the outcome.”

Quan said it was an honor to judge the contest and a memorable experience to see how talented the future generation will be.

Palacios said that judging the contest was both “extremely difficult and emotional for me. Although I did not know the story behind each artwork, creativity is never a competition in my eyes- all these kids are true winners.”

Lin said he was impressed by the imagination and creativity of the CNMI’s youth. “All the pieces told a unique story and it was tough to pick the winners.”

Other artists that made the Top 5 are as follows:


  • Lydia Xian, 5th Grade, Mount Carmel School
  • Siyan Lee, 5th grade, Saipan International School
  • Fiona Yu, 3rd grade, Grace Christian Academy
  • Chlorie Lee (Jee Hoo Lee), 4th grade, Saipan International School


  • Byul An, 8th grade, Saipan Community School
  • Ayung Lee, 9th grade, Mount Carmel School
  • Princess Divina, 10th grade, Marianas High School
  • Nicky Simbulan, 7th grade, Hopwood Middle School


  • Mika Justine Camacho,
  • Jeewoo Son
  • Nhorleen Lilles
  • Noriko Badiya


  • Xinyi Ni
  • Gil Allen

Schools with participating artists include Mount Carmel School, Isla Montessori School, WSR Elementary School, Saipan Community School, Saipan International School, Seventh Day Adventist, Grace Christian Academy, San Vicente Elementary School, Sinapolo Elementary School, Oleai Elementary School, Hopwood Middle School, Mariana High School, Francisco M. Sablan Middle School, and Kagman High School.

All entries were judged by creativity and originality, quality of artwork, clarity of theme, and overall presentation.

The traditional annual art exhibition of all art entries is now open to the public at the Pacifica Insurance office at the Joeten Center in Susupe. They will also be used on all holiday marketing materials to further promote winning artists.

Top placing art entries will also be made available online at by December. You may also find them on Pacifica’s Facebook and Instagram social media pages.

Pacifica Art Contest is a visual arts competition designed to nurture and support local talent and the arts. Over 2,000 artworks have been entered in this contest since 2014. (PR)

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