Santa Paula Times

Artwork by Meghan Brandon

High School Students prepare 5th Annual “Las Medallas de Oro” Art Exhibit at the California Oil Museum

May 30, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesSelecting their best ceramics, commercial packages, drawings and paintings from a year’s worth of work is a challenge for Santa Paula High School art students, now framing their finest artworks for display in the 5th annual ‘Las Medallas de Oro’ exhibit debuting June 1st.The exhibit will be held in the Keck Gallery of the City of Santa Paula California Oil Museum and will be unveiled with a gala opening reception and awards ceremony starting Sunday at 1 p.m. Awards will be announced at 1:30 p.m.For the past five years, SPHS art students have prepared their artworks for the annual display at the museum; two years ago SPHS art teachers Ellen Park and Mariann Romero, along with museum curator John Nichols, expanded the student art exhibit to include an art competition. “Las Medallas de Oro” - which means The Gold Medals - was born and the possibility of winning one of the four 1st place gold medals or one of the 2nd or 3rd place ribbons adds excitement to the students’ preparations.The exhibit will include paintings, computer graphics, drawings, sculptures and mixed media, among other works done by SPHS students.A panel of professional artists will judge all of the student artworks exhibited. The results of the judging will be announced and medals and ribbons awarded during the 1:30 p.m. Program and Awards ceremony during the opening reception for the exhibit on June 1st.The public is invited to attend the opening reception and awards ceremony for the “Las Medallas de Oro” and refreshments will be provided by the museum in the courtyard from 1 to 3 p.m.The 5th annual “Las Medallas de Oro” exhibit is sponsored by a grant from the Timmons Foundation. The museum secured the grant in its efforts to bring local students into the museum. Museum curators teach the students contemporary museum exhibit standards and techniques. They also learn how to plan an exhibit that engages museum visitors.
It can be a mutual learning experience, noted Nichols.“It’s extremely gratifying working with the youth of Santa Paula,” in all phases of exhibit preparation. In addition, “It’s encouraging to see a different kind of talent than sports and academic. . .it’s another facet, showing that an athlete or scholar can also be an artist,” as well as showcasing those students that excel mainly in the arts.The public is invited to join with families and friends to honor excellence in art created by SPHS students.The student exhibition will be on display through July 20.Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children, free to museum members.For more information, call the City of Santa Paula California Oil Museum at 933-0076. The museum Web site is: