By Kathy Collins

The 2016 High School Art Show was held on Thursday, March 10 at Center Place in Brandon. The GFWC Brandon Service League provides the funding for the winners. Students from area high schools submit entries for 2D, 3D and photography. The high schools represented in this year’s show included East Bay, Durant, Bloomingdale, Plant City, Blake, Armwood and Strawberry Crest.

The first place winner in 2D was Emma Oberle, a student from Bloomingdale High School, with her piece “The Next Jedi.” In photography, the first place winner was Alexis Ruiz from Blake High School with “In the Reef.”
The first place winner in 3D was Olivia Gottman from Durant High School with “In the Reef.” Each first place winner received $100.

Other winners for 2D included Crystal Alleyne (Durant); David Navarro (Strawberry Crest), Nicholoas Ontengco (Armwood) and Mina Hudder (Plant City). For Photography, winners included Mercedes Garcia (East Bay); Gabriella Hughes (Bloomingdale); and Tristan Underwood (Blake). Additional winners for 3D were Mengxi Shen (Blake); Bradley Garza (East Bay); and Emily Galen (East Bay).

The judge was artist and Center Place Instructor, Carol Karow. A graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, Karow said of the students’ work, “What I look for in each piece is composition, presentation, creativity, form and view involvement. This show is wonderful, fun and amazing.”

The Center Place Fine Arts Award was given to Lenee Peterson from East Bay High School for her piece called “Ack Attack.” Dawn Galia, Executive Director of Center Place said, “Her creativity, color and the black background makes the image pop. I also love her call outs of ‘no,’ ‘attack’ and ‘pop.’”

Sandy Pullinger, President of the GFWC Brandon Service League said, “The members of the GFWC Brandon Service League are always so excited to be involved with this show. Every year we are amazed at the work you do.”

Center Place also presented the 2016 Patricia B. Odiorne Scholarship. Odiorne was a driving force behind the concept, vision and reality of Center Place. She was highly regarded in the community for her civic involvement. Odiorne was driven to make Brandon a great place to live, and her memory lives on in the scholarship that is given to a deserving high school student in her name.

According to Lisa Rodriguez, Marketing Director for Center Place, “The scholarship committee could not decide between two very worthy candidates, so for the first time, they decided to give the $1,000 scholarship to two students.” The winners are William Leach and Jason Reynolds. Both have been involved with Center Place for many years. Rodriguez added, “It is important to the committee that the recipient be active in the community and give back in the same fashion that Patricia Odiorne did.”

The GFWC Brandon Service League also awards an annual scholarship to a high school senior who will pursue further education in the arts. Seniors who would like to be considered should contact Judy Darsey at 601-0210. The deadline is Friday, April 8.

For more information on the 2016 High School Art Show and the Patricia B. Odiorne Scholarship, please visit and

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