State Fair Youth Art Exhibit

The California State Parks Foundation is proud to support the California State Fair’s Youth Art Competition which highlights the creative talents of California’s youth. This year, we were pleased to once again present our Youth Art Award for the outstanding art pieces inspired by California’s State Parks and natural environment. There were a range of categories from fine art, such as paintings and water colors, to crafts and hobbies, including sewing projects, models animation and more.

CSPF participates in the California State Fair Youth Art Competition, which is open to Californians ages 5 to 18, to encourage youth to seek inspiration for their art in California’s state parks. We also hope that visitors to the California State Fair’s Youth Art Exhibit will be inspired by the work of these young artists to visit state parks themselves.

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2015 Winners

On July 13, 2015, CSPF presented awards to the following young artists at the Golden Bear Youth Art Ceremony in Sacramento:

Thomas Lepage of Elk Grove for his painting “Big Trees State Park”

Age Category: 5 to 9

Seven-year-old Thomas Lepage has been oil painting since he was 5 years old.

His family visits Calaveras Big Trees State Park every summer, and it was the source of his inspiration for his state fair entry. Thomas loves to hike and explore the park.

Thomas’ mother shared some wonderful words about his CSPF award, “It was incredibly special for Thomas to receive the award. He won’t take off the CSPF hat he was given and even tries to wear it to bed. He’s been enjoying his state parks passes as well! We recently visited Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Thomas explored and learned so much. We thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”


Lyna Jiang for “The Sunrise”

Age Category: 10 to 12

Lyna Jiang’s pastel and charcoal art piece was inspired by her family’s love for California’s marvelous state parks.

Lyna’s favorite state park to visit is Half Moon Bay State Beach. While in the second grade, Lyna began drawing to flex her creativity and inspire her to venture into the outdoors more often to enjoy nature. Lyna’s “The Sunrise” art piece is a beautiful depiction of her love for the outdoors.

We look forward to seeing more of Lyna’s pastel drawings in future California State Fair’s Youth Art Contests as she plans to participate throughout high school.


Amy Dimas for her mixed media “Albatross”

Age Category: 13 to 15

Amy Dimas, a freshman of Natomas High School in Sacramento created a beautiful art piece out of used bottle caps.

The project was part of her Biology class assignment where students were encouraged to create art pieces that would help inform her peers about the use of plastic. Amy partnered up with a few friends and collected bottled caps around her school. After collecting approximately 2,500 used bottle caps of various colors and arranging each individually on an art board, Amy formed a picture of a pelican flying over the ocean on a sunny day.

The detail and unique placement of each bottle camp is a clear representation of the hard work and long hours put into this beautiful art piece. Amy looks forward to visiting state parks this fall with her family and can’t wait to participant in next year’s art contest!


Desmond Bague for “San Francisco Shoreline”

Age Category: 16 to 18

Demond Bague’s creative drawing captures the beautiful California coastline in San Francisco; the detail and colors Desmond used to depict the scenic view truly captured a moment in time.

Desmond has always enjoyed being outdoors and drawing outdoor scenery, one of his earliest memories visiting a state park was an elementary school field trip to Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park.

Desmond plans to participate in next year’s State Fair Youth Art Contest and we’re looking forward to his next drawing!


Kylie McClernon for “Great Outdoors”

Age Category: 16 to 18

Eighteen-year-old Kylie McClernon, from Citrus Heights created a beautiful 3D art piece, a vase entitled the “Great Outdoors”.

Kylie’s inspiration for the vase came from her passion for the wilderness and love of nature. The art piece is symbolic of the type of scenery she hopes to live in one day, surrounded by redwood trees, mountains and animals.

It’s clear that Kylie loves spending time in nature, she’s a frequent visitor of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area and looks forward to traveling to more state parks this fall.



2014 Winners

Santana Garcia for “Down by the Bay”

Santana, an 11th grader from Sacramento, was recognized for her photograph “Down by the Bay,” taken on a family trip to the Monterey Bay. Santana says that she was inspired to take this photograph when she saw how much fun her sister was having using her binoculars.

With a goal to one day attend photography school and take photos for National Geographic, Santana says her passion for photography began when she was just 7 years old.

Santana is excited to use her new state park passes to visit state parks with her family. She hopes to be able to take lots of pictures during her visits!


Sofia Pantis for “Figure in Emerald Bay”

Sofia Pantis of Carmichael was recognized for a photograph she took on a family trip to Lake Tahoe. The photo was taken at Emerald Bay State Park, where Sofia was inspired by the scenery – especially the rocks and the water that can be seen in the background of the photograph.

“I take pictures when I want to remember somewhere that I’ve been.” This was her second year participating in the Youth Art Competition.

Sofia especially loves outdoor places that are open and have water. She says that she enjoys “the freedom of the open skies and fresh air and trees.”


Elizara Pellegrini for “Sunset, New Brighton State Beach”

Elizara, a 6th grader from Folsom, was recognized by CSPF for her Upcycled Recycled Artwork airbrush painting, which she creatively made using a paper towel as her canvas. This painting was one of 11 entries Elizara submitted this year. Another state-park-themed entry, a t-shirt she airbrushed with a painting of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, also received recognition from the state fair.

Elizara leaned how to do spray brush art earlier this year from her father.

Although she says it is hard to pick a favorite state park, she recently visited Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve with her school and really enjoyed the field trip. She also enjoys visiting Beal’s Point at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, which she is able to do often with her family.


Heidi Peterson for “Perched Sparrow Marquetry Box”

Heidi Peterson, a recent graduate of Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, was recognized for her wooden marquetry box, which features a bottom made of alder with walnut accents and veneer leaf cut outs, and a lid made of walnut decorated with an image of a sparrow perched on an oak branch made out of an assortment of wood veneer types.

While Heidi first learned about woodworking from her dad, she says that she seriously began the hobby in high school, where she took every woodshop class offered, and also took an independent study course in wood marquetry. This piece was her final project for her senior year, and she worked on it for six months. Heidi says that “this particular piece was the result of the combination of my woodworking, my separate interest in painting, and my love for nature.”

She recently went to Limekiln State Park on a camping trip, and says that it is now her favorite state park. “I love how you could be in the middle of a forested area, surrounded by redwoods, and then walk for five minutes and be on a beautiful beach looking out over the Pacific Ocean.”

Heidi plans to continue studying woodworking at Stanford University, where she begins classes this fall.

California State Parks Foundation

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