March 02, 2008

Latino Art Beat announced its 11th consecutive Hispanic Heritage art competition for 11th- and 12th-graders at the recent opening day reception of the Latino Art Beat retrospective art exhibit hosted by the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. The exhibit, consisting of winning artwork from Latino Art Beat art competitions themed "What Hispanic Heritage and Culture Means to Me," opened to a full house in the Lyndon Baines Johnson building in the nation's capital. Various dignitaries, Latin American consulates, federal, state and local government organizations, senate and congressional offices, D.C. arts organizations, museums, businesses and students were present.

Don Rossi Nuccio, Latino Art Beat President, introduced all past and present national competition winners inviting each to give remarks about how winning the national prize had changed their lives. National winners, flown in by Southwest Airlines, official airline of Latino Art Beat, were Chat Travieso (2003 Miami), Anna Pamasa (2004 Chicago) attending Columbia College Chicago, Jose Rojas (2005 Los Angeles), Kandy Lopez (2006 Miami) and Cathryn Garcia-Menocal (2007 Miami). All of the Miami national winners chose to attend Maryland Institute College of Art ("MICA") on a scholarship through the Latino Art Beat/ MICA partnership. D.C. 1st place winners feted were Cosme Montero (2004) and Rykeyn Bailey (2007).

Mr. Nuccio said students in Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. may participate in the 2008 national Latino Art Beat art competition, "Drawing and Painting" category by their artistic interpretation of "What Hispanic Heritage and Culture Means to Me." All media accepted, mounted or matted not to exceed 30" x 36". Guaranteed scholarship awards are 1st Place $1,000; 2nd Place $750 and 3rd Place $500. Winning students who are accepted to Latino Art Beats academic partner colleges may qualify for higher scholarship awards. Garcia-Menocal, the 2007 national winner was awarded a $60,000 scholarship to attend MICA.

Additional competition categories include "Film and Animation", whereby students submit a DVD or video 5 minutes or less about "My Life" or a short narrative. New for 2008 is "Photography" in which students may interpretively portray the theme "My Concern for the Planet."

Participating departments of education will advise schools as to local drop off locations for competition entries. The national competition deadline date is May 29, 2008. A national winner will be selected from all the regional winners, for additional scholarship support and national media recognition. Winners will be recognized regionally at awards ceremonies during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15, 2008).
This year fashion specialty retailer Nordstrom, who will provide part of this year's scholarship awards, has joined Latino Art Beat as one of its premier national partners and will feature winning artwork from the 2008 competition in window displays of select stores and online at Nordstrom.com during 2008 Hispanic Heritage Month. Additionally, the competition and its winners will be highlighted in the Nordstrom September fashion catalogue.

Students interested in participating in the 2008 art competition may contact their participating high school art teacher or visit the Latino Art Beat website at http://www.latinoartbeat.com .

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