Students from Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy take home 103 awards from the Willamette Valley Scholastic Art Awards

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Fifty-three Woodburn High School students received awards at the Willamette Valley Scholastic Art Awards, including (back row, from left) Joselyn Serrano, Tony Castaneda, Alfonso Calixtro, Montse Astorga, Zane Morris, Yesenia Valencia (standing next to teacher Catherine Johnstone), (front row, from left) Bianca Cavazos, Amelia Santiago, Sofia Velasquez, Andrea Correa, Bricy Villarreal and Elizabeth Ventura.Fifty-three Woodburn High School students have won 103 Willamette Valley Scholastic Art Awards, with many pieces moving on to compete at the national level.

In a show where Gold Keys, Silver Keys and Honorable Mentions are handed out, 10 pieces received a Gold Key, the highest prize, including five from senior Alfonso Calixtro. Bianca Cavazos had two Gold Keys in painting while Abigail Campbell, Jasmine Snider and Amelia Santiago each had one Gold Key.

“I was shocked to get two Gold Keys since last year I didn’t get any awards,” said Cavazos, whose paintings feature flowers. “I’ve moved around a lot and have lived with my grandparents. My grandma always had a garden and lived next to a field of wildflowers. I saw her house as a safe place and the flowers remind me of that.”

The Gold Keys are now in the running to receive medals nationally, which will be announced in March.

Not only did Calixtro receive five Gold Keys, but his print “Self Portrait of Zapata” received an American Visions Nomination, or Best in LINDSAY KEEFER - Senior Alfonso Calixtro, who demonstrates the printmaking process, was awarded five Gold Keys in addition to receiving an American Visions Nomination, or Best in Show, for his printmaking piece, 'Self Portrait of Zapata.'

Calixtro’s winning piece is a depiction of himself mixed with Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata.

“I lived in Morelos, where he was from, so I grew up seeing statues of him everywhere,” Calixtro said. “I want to focus on political art, comparing the Mexican Revolution with the revolution of young Mexican Americans today and what we go through to work toward immigration reform and equality.”

Calixtro, who has set his sights on attending the San Francisco Art Institute, prefers printmaking to any other art medium, having also received two honorable mentions in the category.

“The process of creating the art is my favorite part,” he said. “It’s like problem solving. When you put down the ink it dries, so you have to figure out what you want to do with it faster.”

Eight of the 10 senior portfolios that were recognized were from WACA.

“To get good marks on all eight pieces (in the portfolio), that’s a big deal,” said art teacher Catherine Johnstone. “That means they’re on their way. It says more about them as an artist than just one piece in another category.”

Senior Zane Morris received a Silver Key for his photography portfolio, which modeled senior Amy Veenker in a film noir style.

“I like the simplicity and was trying to get back to old film and how intimate the camera and the subject are,” Morris explained. “I’m not skilled in other art forms, but this is a good way to express the way I feel, with things I haven’t been able to communicate.”

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Woodburn senior Tony Castaneda shows off his portfolio, which received a Silver Key award.Tony Castaneda is also a senior who got a Silver Key for his portfolio, which includes paintings, a couple drawings and a pastel piece.

“The theme is about how teens come across to society and how society influences teens’ decisions,” he said. “Some of them have the feeling of being trapped, like with peer pressure. Society throws a lot at teens, like how we look and dress. It’s cool that (judges) actually put the pieces together even though I wasn’t there to explain it piece by piece.”

The annual awards cover the Willamette Valley, with students’ pieces on display at the Benton County Museum in Philomath. An artist’s reception is being organized there on March 15 at 2 p.m. Gold Key awards and senior portfolios can be viewed at

2014 Willamette Valley Scholastic Art Award winners from Woodburn High School

American Visions Nomination (Best of Show)

Alfonso Calixtro

Senior Portfolios

Alfonso Calixtro – Gold Key

Antonio Castaneda – Silver Key

Zane Morris – Silver Key

Montse Astorga – Honorable Mention

Bianca Cavazos – HM

Amelia Santiago – HM

Joselyn Serrano – HM

Yessenia Valencia – HM

Ceramics and Glass

Martin Jimenez Barrera – Silver Key

Genesis Perez – Honorable Mention

Alex Rawson – HM

Emmanuel Ventura – HM

Digital Art

Josue Jose Perez Jaramillo – Silver Key

Martin Ramos – Silver Key

Daniel Carlon Nalazco – Honorable Mention

Andres Flores – HM

Vladimir Gonzalez Portal – HM

Ricardo Lopez – HM

Zane Morris – HM

Alberto Valencia –HM


Alfonso Calixtro – Gold Key

Abigail Campbell – Gold Key

Jasmine Snider – Gold Key

Sheyla Felix – Silver Key

Veronica Ortiz – Silver Key

Jasmine Snider – Silver Key

Elizabeth Ventura – Silver Keys (2)

Adrianna Bello- Honorable Mention

Vanessa Campbell – HM

Antonio Castaneda – HMs (2)

Andrea Correa – HMs (3)

Elizah Crowder – HM

Haley Dale – HM

Adriana Garcia – HM

Malany Guillen – HM

Kimberly Miranda -HMs (2)

Grace Nava - HM

Russel Ramos - HM

Annette Rodriguez - HM

Kayla Sanchez - HM

Justin Shepard - HM

Jasmine Snider - HM

Eva Solis - HM

Dalia Vasquez - HMs (2)


Rosi Garcia – Honorable Mention

Mixed Media

Alfonso Calixtro – Gold Keys (2)

Montse Astorga – Silver Keys (2)

Antonio Castaneda – Silver Key

Angelica Estrada – Silver Key

Ileana Estrada – Silver Key

Julizza Ramirez – Silver Keys (2)

Susana Bautista – Honorable Mention

Adrianna Bello – HM

Yessenia Valencia – HMs (2)

Briceidda Villarreal-Delgado – HM


Jessica Vilanueva - HMs (2)


Bianca Cavazos – Gold Keys (2)

Amelia Santiago – Gold Key

Alfonso Calixtro – Silver Key

Antonio Castaneda – Silver Key

Bianco Cavazos – Silver Key

Sheyla Felix – Silver Key

Mayra Romero – Silver Key

Amelia Santiago – Silver Key

Lydia Alvarez – Honorable Mention

Abigail Campbell – HM

Bianca Cavazos – HMs (4)

Maria Hernandez – HM

Amelia Santiago – HMs (2)

Emily Velasco – HM

Sofia Velasquez – HM


Montse Astorga – Silver Keys (2)

Zane Morris – Silver Key

Montse Astorga – Honorable Mention

Zane Morris – HM


Alfonso Calixtro – Gold Key

Andrea Correa – Silver Key

Ivan Hernandez – Silver Key

Alfonso Calixtro – Honorable Mentions (2)

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