Six local youngsters were in the spotlight Saturday, August 17, as winners of the second annual Feria Maestros del Arte children’s art contest.
The awards ceremony and celebration held on the grounds of the Lake Chapala Society (LCS) honored Oscar Orlando Ibarra Lopez, 15, with the first-place blue ribbon and a 500-peso cash award for a stunning watercolor reflecting the competition theme of preserving Mexican folk art and traditions. Second place honors went to Jessica Alejandra Garcia Mendoza, 16, with Alonso Romero Ibarra, 12, placing third. Qualifying for honorable mention were Juan David Perez Bernardino, 11, Ximena Espiritu Martinez, 8, and Rosario Guadalupe Lopez Garcia, 16.
Their paintings will be exhibited and put up for sale during the Maestros del Arte fair to be held November 15 through 17 at the Chapala Yacht Club.
All of the contestants were applauded for their artistic efforts and hailed as “winners” with a banquet of sandwiches, cupcakes, cookies and juice.
Among those present to hand out the awards were Feria founder Marianne Carlson and board president Ann Flanigam, along with the LCS children’s art program team instructors: Jesus Lopez Vega, Javier Zaragoza, Antonio Lopez Vega and Dan Williams.
Also assisting were distinguished Feria exhibitors Jose Luis Cortez and Jose Manuel Robles, who visited the LCS children’s art workshop earlier this month to inspire the budding young artists with a chat about the importance of Mexican folk art. The experience led them to the conclusion that LCS stands out for offering an unparalleled program that sparks creativity while keeping kids away from vices.
Cortez is a master ceramicist who was honored himself last month by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto as winner of the “Angel Carranza Award” in the 37th Premio Nacional de la Ceramica (National Ceramics Prize). Robles is an accomplished painter whose works focus on Mexico’s ethnic roots and rural life.