CNMI artists shine in Bridge Capital competition

Jul 31, 2023 | Saipan Tribune

Bridge Capital LLC’s Art Competition this year not only highlighted the creativity and artistic skills of many of the CNMI’s homegrown artists, but also rewarded 13 artists whose work topped the tilt. The announcement of winners and presentation of prizes were made last Friday at the Flame Tree Arts Festival on the Civic Center Beach Park in Susupe.

Over $13,000 in total cash prizes were given to artists who topped the competition. For artists 12-and-up, each first place winner received a monetary prize of $1,500. Artists Jia Yi Li and Kim Jiyun tied for first place in the 12-17 age group category, and in the painting and drawing category, Joseph Weaver took first place. Vlad Melnik’s shot on one of the Northern Islands landed him first place in the photography category, and Gregorio Bacnis Jr.’s multimedia piece topped the open artwork category.

Coming in second place was Elaine Pagaduan, for the 12-17 age group category, Nhorleen Lilles in painting and drawing; Jeromalyn Santos in photography; and Veronica Arriola in open artwork. Each second place winner was also awarded $1,000.

For the 11-and-under category, Victoria Huang was first taking home $750, while Lydia Xian came in second, receiving $500. The Governor’s Choice Award and $1,000 went to Christian Apolonio.

Last but not the least, the Bridge Capital Community Choice award went to Von Derick Lauron.

Judges for the artwork included Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and first lady Wella Palacios, House Speaker Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), Rep. Marissa Flores (Ind-Saipan), and Mayor Ramon “RB” Camacho.

Bridge Capital principals and CEOs John Baldwin and Sean Scott shared their remarks after the prize presentation

“We have amazing talents here in the CNMI and we are happy to be a part of rewarding the artists,” shared Baldwin. He encouraged the artist to continue to work hard in their field.” Art is important, it expresses who we are.”

He also acknowledged their staff, “Our Bridge Capital staff is quite amazing. You know the work they put into the art show, Flame Tree and the CNMI got talent is really above and beyond the call of duty, you know, they work for Bridge, but they do this work because they want to, and because they want to help And because they also appreciate the community.”

Scott also took the opportunity to thank the audience.

“Thank you for supporting all the artists…We appreciate the opportunity to be involved in all this.” He also thanked the first lady and governor for their efforts and support as well.

“Ten years ago, Bridge Capital looked for a way in which we could participate in the [Flame Tree] Arts Festival And we came up with our own competition,” said Bridge Capital vice president Bart Johnson

These artworks will be displayed at the T-Galleria in Garapan from now until Aug. 6.

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