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Teens impress at Manteca Unified show
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Joseph Jimenez, who is a junior at Calla High, was surprised to get first place at the District Art Show for his provocative Abstract Woman acrylic painting. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Kyrstin Riley’s AP Studio observational drawing received a “Best in Show” honor at Sierra High’s Day of the Arts.

But it was her other observational piece that earned the prestigious “Best of Category” at the annual Manteca Unified “Best of the Best” 2014 District Art Show & Sales on Tuesday.

“I was surprised and happy,” said the SHS senior.

Riley, who will continue doing art when she attends Delta College in the fall, took second place with the drawing that claimed the top school award earlier this month.

Another SHS student, Anna Recker, claimed a first-place ribbon for her observational acrylic painting inspired by her time at Stinson Beach. “I liked the color scheme,” she said.

Recker, who is a junior in Kathy Ritter’s art class, also took second with her AP Studio Art charcoal drawing of seashells from that same Marin County coastline. She was thrilled with her showing at the district show.

Ditto that for Joseph Jimenez of Calla High. He did a piece entitled “The Abstract Woman” that he thought was too provocative for any art show.

As it turned out, he not only took first place with it at the recent Calla art show, but also took first at the MUSD event.

“Joe is real creative,” said his teacher Natalie Pyers. “He’s very dedicated to his art.”

Jimenez is looking forward to taking up sculpture next year.

This year’s “Best of the Best” award went to Mariah Jeffery of East Union High. Kira Eadington, who is the art teacher at Weston Ranch High and coordinator of the MUSD art show, pointed out that Jeffery, who did a charcoal drawing of an elderly woman, is in the Introduction to Art class.

The distinguished panel of judges came from galleries, studios, guilds and other art-related places from throughout the area. The judging took place Monday in the district office.

Other “Best of Category” included:

• Josh Avalos, Intro Ceramics, clay.

• Victoria Burra, Sierra High, 3D Mixed Media.

• Vanessa Aguilar, Sierra High, Advanced Digital Photography, experimental.

• Jessica Luca, Observational Drawing, scratch board.

• Dania Rubio, East Union High, Advanced Ceramics, functional.

• Andrea Castaneda, Lathrop High, 3D Art Free Standing, burlap.

• Chris Seagram, Weston Ranch High, Graphic / Computer Design, illustration cartooning.

• Sharmaine Caniles, Sierra High, Intro Photography, portrait (black and white film).

• Alex Gonzalez, Weston Ranch High, Intro Digital Photography.

Eadington has served as coordinator for the event for the past four years. She estimated there were over 800 entries in this year’s event, coming from students at Manteca High, East Union, Lathrop High, Sierra High, Weston Ranch, and Calla High.

More information on the art show can be obtained by clicking on to the district website at