GGUSD Showcases Student Talent at 46th Annual First Impressions Art Show

Pacifica High School Student Jacky Ramirez received the President of the School Board Award for her graphite pencil drawing titled “Lean on Me.”

Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) hosted its 46th annual First Impressions Art Show to celebrate the artistic talent of hundreds of students from all grade levels from preschool to high school. Awards were presented in front of a packed room of parents, staff, and community members at the Garden Grove Community Center on Saturday, March 9, 2024, followed by the communitywide Art in the Park event which is hosted by GGUSD and the City of Garden Grove and showcases student artwork and musical performances.

More than 650 pieces of artwork were showcased at the First Impressions Art Show with dozens of awards presented including:

  • Allen Elementary student Jillian Tran received the Mayor’s Award for her oil pastel painting called “Rainbow Rose.”
  • Pacifica High School Student Jacky Ramirez received the President of the School Board Award for her graphite pencil drawing titled “Lean on Me.”
  • Los Amigos High School Advanced Art students received the Superintendents’ Award for their 5-foot papier-mâché artwork called “Year of the Dragon.”  Students include Elizabeth Baiza-Damacio, Hector Briseno Valdivia Jr., Jonathan Casillas, Mee Moua, Verenice Munoz, Han Nguyen, Amairani Roman, Jose Rodriguez, and Christopher Suarez.
  • Paine Elementary School student Lauren Tran won PK-6 Best in Show for her acrylic painting entitled “In Vietnam.”
  • Ralston Intermediate School student Angela Lee won 7-8 Best in Show for her charcoal self-portrait titled “Angela.”
  • Santiago student Abraham Dominguez received 9-12 Best in Show for his crab created from recycled instruments.
  • Murdy Elementary School’s Ian Gutierrez artwork was selected as the program cover for the 2024 State of the District Event as the winner of the The Garden Grove Way art contest.
  • Bolsa Grande High School student Kristine Truong’s colored pencil drawing titled “Nightfall” was chosen for the program cover.

“The First Impressions Art Exhibit is always impressive because it showcases the undeniable skill level and talent of our students,” said Board of Education President Teri Rocco. “As a Board, we have consistently invested in our robust Visual and Performing Arts program because of the immeasurable benefits these experiences provide to students. We applaud our exceptional teachers who provide high level instruction that helps our young artist grow and develop their skills.”

Garden Grove Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Ngoc Tran and City Councilmember George Brietigam, Board of Education President Teri Rocco, Board Vice President Lan Nguyen, Superintendent Gabriela Mafi, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Stephanie Heflin, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Lisa Swartz, and Assistant Superintendent of K-12 Educational Services Lorena Sanchez presented awards at the ceremony. Senator Janet Nguyen's Office also attended to provide certificates and Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services Valerie Shedd, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Jason Bevacqua, and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Tahnee Pham also attended the event to show their support.

The community is invited to view the artwork at The Courtyard on Village Green, 12372 Main Street, Garden Grove. The gallery will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday, March 11 through Thursday, March 14. GGUSD Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts Stacy Harris and Teacher on Special Assignment Matt Franklin organized the district art show.