Located on the grounds of the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, the Napa Valley Museum closed its doors in mid-March to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s more, due to the virus-vulnerable residents who live at the Veterans Home, it’s unlikely that the museum will be able to open on the same timeline as other venues.
In the meantime, the museum has put together a program of online exhibits, including a virtual art tour of “Lucy Liu: One of These Things Is Not Like The Others” and a digital version of the museum’s annual student-curated youth art exhibit. This year’s fourth annual youth art show, titled “Not From Around Here,” is presented in partnership with Napa’s Justin-Siena High School visual arts department and features diverse artwork from nearly 30 student artists representing Justin-Siena High School, Vintage High School, The Oxbow School, Saint Helena High School, Marin Catholic High School and Novato High/Marin School of the Arts.
The works on display include paintings, photography, collage and assemblage and drawings that explicitly or abstractly tackle the topics of identity and society as it relates to the theme. In addition to the art, students write an accompanying artist statement that speaks to their intent.
Now, the Napa Valley Museum announces that the exhibit’s panel of judges has selected several artists for awards, including Best of Show winner Isabella Cavallero of Novato High/Marin School of the Arts; First Place winner Justice Faustina of Justin Siena High; Second Place winner Artemisio Romero y Carver of the Oxbow School, People’s Choice Award winner Jenna Yandel of Marin Catholic High School and other winning student artists Jade Hawkinson, Julia Maushardt, Charmaine Griffin, Leilani Cropper, Pella Anderson and Zoé Murphy.
Best of Show winner Isabella Cavallero earned the award for her photograph, “The Originals,” which features two colorful members of the local biker community.
In a statement, Cavallero writes, “The statement ‘Not From Around Here’ reflects the meaning of finding a sense of belonging even when obstacles stand in the way… One of the communities that experiences a high level of rejection, or the feeling of not being accepted, is the biker community. The unfortunate thing about this is that most bikers are amongst the kindest people you will ever meet. In my lifetime I have witnessed how generous the biker community has been on many occasions, including volunteering during times of fire relief, holding fundraisers for charities, and group rides for fallen members. They would give complete strangers the shirt off their back and often support their community, despite being judged for their lifestyle. What I want people to understand about my artwork is that it is important to embrace all walks of life and attempt to understand that some may want to live their lives differently than others. Without the individuality in the community, we wouldn’t be able to create the world in which we live.”
The exhibit’s panel of judges includes Connie Schleien, past National Art Educator Association vice president, board member of Sonoma Valley Museum, and Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts commissioner; Jeanne Hoel, Senior Education manager for School and Teacher Programs at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Erik Shearer, professor of Art Napa Valley College and former chair for the Division of Arts and Humanities.
Winners received a range of awards including cash prizes, plaques, ribbons, certificates and a Napa Valley Museum reciprocal membership. A full list of winners and the complete virtual “Not From Around Here” art exhibit can be found on Napa Valley Museum’s website.