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Apolonio Wins ‘Best in Show’; Manglona Receives Governor’s Choice Prize

Apr 23, 2024 | Marianas Variety, Featured News

Best in Show winner Christian Apolonio, right, poses with the principals of Bridge Capital LLC.
Photos by Andrew Roberto
Richard Manglona proudly displays his award certificate while capturing a moment with Bridge Capital LLC executives, Governor Arnold I. Palacios, Lieutenant Governor David M. Apatang, First Lady Wella Palacios, and the esteemed panel of competition judges, including House Vice Speaker Joel Camacho, House Floor Leader Edwin Propst, and Senate Floor Leader Corina Magofna.

“HOPE of the Marianas” by Christian Apolonio emerged as the top pick, winning the Best of Show title at Bridge Capital’s 11th Annual Art Competition during the Flame Tree Arts Festival on April 20 at the Garapan Fishing Base. Apolonio’s artwork earned him $2,000 in prize money.

Richard Manglona’s piece “Princess Sosambre” clinched the prestigious Governor’s Choice award for this year, with Manglona receiving $1,000 in recognition.

Other notable winners included Greg Elliott’s “Eagle Ray” in the open division, Myla Deets’s “Talayeru Tranquility” for photography, Jiyun Kim’s “Flame Tree Festival” in the student category (ages 12-17), Michael Nishimura’s “Flores Abot” in painting and drawing, and Daniel Guo’s “Turtle” in the 11 and under category. Guo received a $750 prize, while the first-place finishers in each category were awarded $1,500 each.

In the second-place spots were Jun Seo Kim’s “Beauty in the Reef” in the open category, Milliana Camacho’s “Hooked on Paradise” for photography, Gwanhun Son’s “The Jewel of Saipan” in the student category (12-17), and a tie between Christian Apolonio’s “Hope of the Marianas” and Zhong Yan Tang’s “Daughter of the Sea” in painting and drawing. Joyann Kundu’s “Managaha Sunset” took second place in the 11 and under category, earning $500, while the other second-place winners received $1,000 each.

Bridge Capital LLC’s Vice President Bart Jackson expressed satisfaction with the event’s turnout, noting 276 entries this year. Judges, including House Vice Speaker Joel Camacho and Governor Arnold I. Palacios, faced difficulty selecting winners due to the high quality of submissions.

Jackson revealed plans to continue showcasing this year’s and past entries, potentially at the re-opened Paseo De Marianas. Additionally, Bridge Capital is exploring options for producing prints of entries collected over the competition’s decade-long history.

The Flame Tree Arts Festival, which featured 11 food and beverage vendors and 32 art booths, attracted hundreds of island residents from April 19-21, showcasing the vibrant creative talent of the CNMI community.

Governor Arnold I. Palacios and First Lady Wella Palacios pose with the winning artwork selected for the Governor’s Choice Award, titled “Princess Sosambre.”
Gregg Elliot’s piece titled “Eagle Ray” clinches the top spot in the open division of the art competition.
Michael Nishimura’s artwork titled “Flores Abot” emerged as the leading entry in the painting and drawing category of the competition.
“Hope of the Marianas” by Christian Apolonio takes the title of Best of Show for this year’s awards.
Reference: Marianas Variety

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