MHS teacher tops Bridge Capital art competition

'THE PASSAGE': Greg Elliott's "The Passage" was named Best of Show in Bridge Capital's 9th Annual Art Competition.

SAIPAN – Marianas High School art teacher Greg Elliot's "The Passage" was named Best of Show in Bridge Capital's 9th Annual Art Competition.

His artwork also placed second in the painting/open category. He won a total cash prize of $3,500.

Bridge Capital received more than 340 entries for this year's art competition, Chief Executive Officer John Baldwin said, adding that they gave away a total of $15,250 in prizes to the winners in eight categories. The awards ceremony took place Friday at the Flame Tree Arts Festival in Susupe.

Elliott said he started working on his painting without a particular subject in mind, "but I knew I wanted to do the painting of Okeanos Marianas. It is a beautiful boat. It's very local and it encapsulates what this place is all about."

'A perfect backdrop'

After a few days, he said he saw that the vibrant colors he had poured on his canvas depicted a sunset and a "crazy sky – a perfect backdrop for Okeanos Marianas."

It took him three weeks to finish his painting, which he described as a combination of abstract and realism.

Elliott said it was his third time participating in Bridge Capital's art contest, and his second time to win Best of Show. The first time was eight years ago.

For this year, Elliott submitted two entries. The second is called "Spear Fisherman Under Water."

"It is also abstract and pretty surreal-looking, almost fantastical," he added. "I am proud of it, too."

'Portal to the Sky'

In photography, Francisco Deleon Guerrero's "Portal to the Sky" took first place.

"I didn't think I would win," he said. "But there were so many people behind me. I stood beside my family and that got me more confidence to believe in my work."

Deleon Guerrero shot "Portal to the Sky" during a hike with his friends at Forbidden Island.

"There was a little exit going out into the ocean side. I thought it was very interesting," said Deleon Guerrero, a science-fiction lover, adding that it reminded him of the portal in the movie "Arrival."

The winners

The competition's winner are:

11 and under

First – Alyssa Kim, "The Paradise" (crayon, marker and paint)

Second – Alvin Han, "Legend of Saipan (painting)

Student Category

First – Romel Mendoza, "Know Your Roots" (oil painting)

Second – Chengsi Bao, "Dancing Lady" (oil and recycled plastic)

Woodwork and Mixed Media

First – Irineo David, "Day and Night" (wood and acrylic)

Second – Michael Finey, "Tree of Life – First Breadfruit" (wood)


First – Francisco Deleon Guerrero, "Portal to the Sky"

Second – Myla Deets, "Bwa'angfisch"

Painting/Open Category

First – Veronica Mendez, "Untitled 1" (oil on canvas)

Second – Greg Elliott, "The Passage"

Community Choice Award

Jose Aguilar, "Gem of the Marianas" (mixed media and glitter)

Governor's Choice Award

Irineo David, "Bonding Home" (paint)

Best of Show

Gregg Elliott, "The Passage" (paint)