GGUSD Student Artists Honored at 45th Annual First Impressions Art Show

Superintendent's Award Winner Danya Reyna

Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) hosted its 45th annual First Impressions Art Show to celebrate the creative 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 18, 2023, 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.

“It seems like each year we are seeing an increasing level of creativity and skill from our student artists, said GGUSD Board of Trustee Lan Nguyen.  “The First Impressions artwork really demonstrates the district’s strong Visual Arts programs and the talent level of GGUSD students and teachers.”

California Assemblyman Tri Ta, Garden Grove City Councilmember Stephanie Klopfenstein, Board of Education President Walter Muneton, Board of Education Trustee Lan Nguyen, Superintendent Gabriela Mafi, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Stephanie Heflin, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Lisa Swartz, Assistant Superintendent of K-12 Educational Services Lorena Sanchez, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services Valerie Shedd and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Rick Nakano attended the event to present students with awards.

More than 700 pieces of artwork were showcased at the First Impressions Art Show with dozens of awards presented including:

  • Rancho Alamitos student Isabella Flores received the Mayor’s Award for her digital design piece called “Self-Portrait.”
  • McGarvin Intermediate School student Enrique Rojas received the President of the School Board Award for his piece titled “Societal Message Printmaking.”
  • Evans Elementary School student Danya Reyna received the Superintendents’ Award for her piece “The Day of the Dead Cat.”
  • Patton Elementary School student Seth Nguyen won PK-6 Best in Show for his piece “Dripping Colors”
  • Irvine Intermediate School student Franchesca Sta. Maria won 7-8 Best in Show for her piece “Ocean Survival.”
  • Santiago student Jessica Dearing received 9-12 Best in Show for her piece called “Solitary.”
  • Rancho Alamitos High School junior Nguyen Bui’s piece titled “The Colorful in Grey” was chosen for the program cover.

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 20 through Thursday, March 23. GGUSD Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts Stacy Harris and Teacher on Special Assignment Matt Franklin organized the district art show.