Venture student wins congressional art contest again

'Sisters' to hang in U.S. Capitol for next year

A senior in the San Ramon Valley's Venture Independent Study School recently won U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell's congressional art competition for the second year in a row.

Quetzalli Alitzel Maldonado Osorio, a Castro Valley resident who studies through San Ramon's Venture School, was honored in a ceremony at Hayward's Sun Gallery earlier this spring.

Her charcoal work, "Sisters," was the panel of local judges' top choice among the dozens of paintings, drawings, collages, photographs and other artworks submitted by high schoolers across Swalwell's 15th Congressional District, which includes San Ramon.

"Sisters" will hang in the U.S. Capitol for one year, and the young artist will receive round-trip airfare to Washington, D.C. to attend the unveiling ceremony next month, according to Swalwell's office.

The congressman will also recognize the runner-up and third-place recipients by displaying their works in his district offices: second place, "Joe the Owl" by James Logan High School (Union City) senior Jade Cabug, and third place, "Reaper" by Mt. Eden High School (Hayward) senior Jassimran Sra.

"Congratulations to the Congressional Art Competition winners for excelling amid such a powerful and varied field of entries," Swalwell (D-Dublin) said in a statement. "I grow more amazed and inspired each year at the breadth of talent and vision shown by the 15th District's young artists."

U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), whose district includes the northern San Ramon Valley, also held a congressional art contest in his district. Concord High School senior Ryan Shu was named the winner for his digital photograph, "The Golden Escape."

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2 people like this
Posted by Mrs. B
a resident of Danville
on May 17, 2016 at 8:45 am

This girl with four names has so much talent, she needs to create a professional name for herself now. Her future could easily be in the art world. Congratulations to her and her family and any mentor, if she has one.

3 people like this
Posted by Kerry W
a resident of Venture Independent Study School
on May 17, 2016 at 9:49 am

She is as unique and interesting as her name-- a surprisingly strong blend of intrinsic talent, character, dedication and vision. Since she enrolled (at the school) five years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of watching her develop as a writer, critical thinker, and artist. I can honestly say she continually surprises me with her drive and abilities.

Over the years I’ve watched her artistic talents unfold. As a middle school student, she spent massive amounts of time constructing tiny creations out of polymer clay. Beautifully intricate, she would work from a photo of someone’s love (usually a person) and create a tiny replica for display. She created a “business” and took orders. I remember our Counselor being thrilled with her piece. Most likely, her Quetz’ Clay Creation has become a family keepsake.

Open to learning new skills, Quetzalli has evolved into a well-rounded artist. Paint, clay, photography, pencil, ink—she’s willing to try any medium. While showing me photos of her summer work at the SF Academy of Art (fresh-perspective characters, comic book pages, a life size skull with gears, nudes, and more) Quetzalli’s eyes light up the same way they do when she speaks about the animated films she loves so dearly. I marvel, and think to myself: someday I will see her work displayed on a very large screen.

Quetzalli’s vision of her future includes art. Her conviction is impressive. After dropping off her 2015 entry "Generations" to Congressman Eric Swalwell’s office, Quetzalli called me to confirm the dates of the winner’s Washington DC trip. She wanted to make sure that her family was available to attend with her. She, most confidently, saw herself earning the winning ticket. Her artistic ability is undeniable, yet more importantly, the fact that she trusts her own dedicated talent is what will ensure her success. However, she’s not boastful or arrogant. She simply believes in herself and her dedication to her craft.

Her goal is to be a character designer for Pixar. I sincerely believe she will achieve her dream!

Her Venture Independent Study teacher
(Removed because it was commercial in nature)

2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2016 at 7:05 am

This is a great story! Does anybody have any insight as to why a Castro Valley resident is allowed to go to school in SRVUSD? I was just curious.


2 people like this
Posted by Kerry W
a resident of Venture Independent Study School
on May 20, 2016 at 8:30 am

In reply to resident3:
ANY student from a neighboring County (any County touching Contra Costa County) can apply through his/her own school district for approval to leave and apply to attend SRVUSD. The approval happens at the home district and then our district (SRVUSD) must approve the transfer also. Traditionally many students from other Counties have attended SRVUSD's Venture Independent Study because their home district did not offer an independent study program. Also, Venture's program is excellent and the word got out to those students seeking an alternative educational model.

The CA Department of Education funds education for each student based on daily attendance. Thus, money from the State is given to the school of attendance, which means even though a student does not reside within our district's boundaries, we can still collect funds from the state.

Within the last few years neighboring County school districts are realizing they are loosing students and have worked to implement their own independent study programs. The enrollment of "outsiders" attending Venture is much less now than it once was.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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