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Manteca High displays artistic talent
Isabella Garcia-Mendez plays the piano during the Day of the Arts event Wednesday night at Manteca High. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Hundreds of Manteca High students put their best feet forward, aesthetically speaking, Wednesday night for the annual springtime Day of the Arts.

Other schools in Manteca Unified hold the same event as a prelude to the district-wide art show held every year toward the end of the school year.

At the Buffaloes’ evening of the arts, the band played, the choir sang, Isabella Garcia-Mendez, Kylie Cunningham and Mahir Pepic played solo instrumental numbers, and students in the school’s art classes that include digital photography, video production, and drafting proudly showed off the best of their artistic accomplishments during the school year to their proud parents, friends and other guests.

Among the parents present were Paul and Maryann Nieto whose son, Jacob, nabbed one of the Best of Show awards of the evening. His winning piece, entered in the graphic sign category, carried the message, “Be the Light in the Darkness.”

Members of the Manteca High Art Club made maximum use of the event’s captive audience by holding a fund-raiser for their group. They set up a table where they offered their original pieces for sale and at auction. Half way through the two-hour show, they were happy to see several of the auctioned art pieces receiving several bids.

The evening’s big winner was junior art student Brenda Padilla who captured three Best of Show and two first-place awards. One of her Best of Show entries is her Prismacolor pencil portrait rendition of a picture she found online. She hopes to parlay her love of the arts to becoming a special effects make-up artist for movie in Hollywood someday and “maybe a tattoo artist on the side,” she said.

The Day of the Arts aims to show to parents and the public what the Art Department does, with the students’ artistic cream of the crop displayed as the culmination activity, said Carol Creighton who teaches Multimedia/Video Production and digital photography.

She is one of the half-dozen art teachers at Manteca High, a group that includes Anthony Dahl, band; Mary Monaghan, choir; Matt McDonald who teaches Advance Art, Introduction to Art, 3-D Art and AP Studio; Mindie Dolson who also teachers Introduction to Art; and, Samuel Dolson, drafting.