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Best of the Best in MUSDs 2012 art show & sale
Lexi Vaughan, a sophomore at Sierra High, shows off her three original ceramic pieces displayed Tuesday night at the 2012 Best of the Best Manteca Unified Art Show & Sale. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Three generations of Israel Aldana’s family was at the Manteca Unified School District 2012 Art Show and Sale Tuesday evening.

His father, Miguel, was there. His grandmother, Magdalena Cenicero, also came to admire her talented grandson’s artistic creations. Although she does not speak or understand English, and did not recognize the legendary artist who was the subject of her grandson’s 3’x5’ pencil drawing, her face wreathed in smiles showed the pride she felt for the East Union senior who is graduating this month from Calla High.

The Aldana family was typical of the groups that attended the annual “Best of the Best” celebration of the arts produced by the artistic cream of the crop from the school district’s campuses. Lathrop High School junior, Josephine Van Wetter, whose art work was one of the scores displayed in the board room of the district office on West Louise Avenue, attended the event with her parents Eleanor and Kevin Van Wetter, and 7-year-old brother Caleb.

Sierra High sophomore Lexi Vaughan, who had three ceramic pieces in the exhibit, was accompanied by her mom and dad, Jessica and Thomas, and her 2-year-old sister Stella. Grandmother Yoli Vaughan came along, too.

Manteca High junior Kat Ibarra, whose contribution to the show and sale was a 3-D laced boot made out of the bark of a tree in her front yard, was joined by her sister Suri Ibarra who brought along her 2-year-old son, Anthony.

Lucky and Becky Shaw were exceptionally impressed with their daughter, Elizabeth, a senior at East Union, whose computer graphics illustration won top honors at her school and Best in Category at the district show. The winning entry featured her boyfriend and Delta College graphic artist Dustin Bayer. Her other entries also won second and third place ribbons.

“I’m so proud of her,” said her duly impressed mom.

“She does good work,” seconded her equally proud father.

Some of the students, like Lancer Israel Aldana, discovered their latent artistic talents only when they took up art classes at their school.

“I’ve only been drawing for seven months,” said Aldana whose other hobby is playing electric and acoustic guitar.

But his short introduction to art was enough to whet his appetite in pursuing possibly a career in the arts.

“I’m hoping to major in art in college,” said Aldana who chose the legendary music artist Jimi Hendrix as one of his subjects because of his contribution to music.

“He revolutionized music with his completely different style. He changed music. I respect him for his musical talent,” he said.

With the awards she won at the school district show, Elizabeth Shaw is also now contemplating on a career in computer graphics.

Sierra High senior Ashley Bergman whose art work was also selected to be in the district show, said she also has been inspired to study art.

“I might want to learn more about it. I like the creativity and how people put their feelings into (their art),” she said as she snapped pictures of other students’ works that impressed her.

This year’s Best of Show went to a 3-D creation by Justine Molina of Manteca High.