5TH ANNUAL CNMI ART COMPETITION
Hunter’s ‘The Conversation’ wins Best of Show’ trophy
Tag: Choice Award, Joe Kani, Peter Aldan, Rosemary Diaz
With the natural and symbolic, the winning pieces in the 5th Annual CNMI Art Competition told a cultural story.
“We had a lot of great artists contribute their art to the competition this year,” said Bridge Capital manager and co-owner Shawn Scott.
“We want to thank all the artists participating this year. We look forward to many new artists joining the competition next year. It’s an honor for us to sponsor this event,” he said.
Awards totaled $13,000 in cash prizes. The competition categories were Best of Show, Paintings, Wood-Carving and Others, Photography, Texter’s Choice Award, Governor’s Choice Award, and Best New Artist
“Best of Show” went to Robert Hunter for “The Conversation,” a painting of boy and a baby sea turtle in the sand by the ocean.
Under the paintings category, Rosemary Diaz won for her “May Tide.”
In a note to her painting, Diaz described her work as “capturing the unique formation of coconuts, fishkill seeds, decayed driftwood, sand bars, coral, rocks, and marine life.
Second place for painting went to Joe Kani for “Spray of Pink,” a paining of native flowers.
“He’s been doing it for many, many years in the CNMI. He continues to bring out the best in all of our arts in the CNMI,” said emcee Gary Sword.
For artists under ages 29 and below, Jackie Maglonzo won for her “Gentle Sunset.” She was awarded for idyllic painting of a lagoon, palm trees, and sunset.
For second place for age 29 and below was Jolly Anne Cruz came in second for her “Marianas,” a painting of longhaired women swaying with the sea.
Peter Aldan was the crowd favorite, winning the “Texter’s Choice” award for “Ancestral Roots,” a white and black wood carving of a “family tree.” He received well over 1,000 text votes.
First place in the photography was Lainie Zarones for her shot of a “Bridled whiteye or nosa on Saipan.” Second place was Rosemary Diaz for “The Dance”—a shot of children in traditional dance garb.
Under woodcarving and others, Nhorleen Bitco won first place for “Mutya.” Nick Nick Kluwe for “Stretch, Zurich, and Tuli.” The award is $1,000.
For “Best New Artist,” Aldan and Bitco won first and second place for their pieces, respectively.
Michael Finney won the Governor’s Choice award for “Serena,” a woodcarving of barely clad Serena, a mermaid of Marianas legend.