Bill Schlichting
Curry Coastal Pilot

Natalie Garcia, a Brookings-Harbor High School junior, won Best of Show award at VISION 2018 at Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay.

“I was very happy,” Garcia said.

The annual high school art competition is underwritten by the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation. Garcia’s submission, a mixed-media work titled “Henry VIII,” won her a two-year tuition waiver to attend Southwestern along with a $250 cash-purchase award.

Garcia said she hasn’t decided on a career or a field of study, so she plans to use her “free ride” at Southwestern to prepare for transfer to a four-year university.

“Natalie is an intelligent, artistically-talented individual who will take this scholarship and run with it,” said Sheryl Tuttle, Brookings-Harbor High School art teacher. “It should be fun to watch where she goes.”

Garcia said she has been drawing “since I was a kid.” She became interested in art when she saw her older sister, Laura Garcia, drawing and thought, “Oh, I want to do that.”

In high school she began taking classes.

“I had Natalie for beginning art when she was a freshman,” Tuttle said. “She came into the program with well-developed drawing skills and a strong eye for color, texture and composition. It was very apparent she is someone who draws regularly and is passionate about art.”

This last summer, she attended a workshop at Southern Oregon University in Ashland that focused on Latina students.

She returned with a greater sense of self-confidence, direction and purpose, all of which shows up in her approach to art, Tuttle said.

The piece that won Best in Show was a class project in intermediate art designed as a review of the elements of art: line, texture, value, color, shape, form and space.

“The tricky part of the project was to include all the required elements, while creating an interesting, original work of art,” Tuttle said. “ She certainly rose to the challenge.”

Evan Melton, a Myrtle Point High School sophomore, was awarded first place for his photograph titled “Frontier.” Melton received a two-year tuition waiver to attend Southwestern and a $100 cash-purchase award.

Jaidan McLean, a senior from Gold Beach High School, took home the second place award for an acrylic painting titled “Hibiscus Probiscis.” McLean received a $75 cash-purchase award along with a two-year tuition waiver to attend Southwestern.

Sixteen other cash prizes ranging from $20 to $50 were awarded to division winners in grades nine through 12.

VISION 2018 consists of 85 works by 67 students from Academia Celestia Homeschool in North Bend, Bandon, Brookings-Harbor, Coquille, Crater Renaissance Academy in Central Point, Gold Beach, Marshfield in Coos Bay, Myrtle Point, North Bend, Pacific in Port Orford and Reedsport Community Charter School.

The exhibit is on display in the upstairs galleries at Coos Art Museum at 235 Anderson Ave., in Coos Bay through April 14. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information on Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation, visit, send email to or call 800-962-2838, ext 7210.