Nhorleen Bitco placed first in Bridge Capital LLC’s 7th Annual Art Competition held last Saturday at the Garapan Fishing Base during the 36th Annual Flame Tree Arts Festival.
Bitco’s entry “The Sanctuary” got her first place in open category painting. The Saipan Tribune graphic artist said she worked on her winning artwork for a week.
To describe the piece briefly, “The Sanctuary” is a pen and ink on paper piece that depicts a turtle with a variety of marine life—ranging from corals to mussels and fish—on its back.
“It is a reflection of the reality that other species have a major impact on the survival of the human race. If we protect nature, it will reciprocate,” said Bitco.
Despite winning awards in the last two art competitions, Bitco has been humble throughout her success. Bitco, along with a number of her artist friends, wish that there are even more opportunities for local artists to showcase their talents on island.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity Bridge Capital offers to the artists in the CNMI annually. A lot of artists I know wish that there are more companies that encourage other artists to come out and produce more artworks because there are a lot of talented artists here in the CNMI,” Bitco told Saipan Tribune.
Bitco won $1,500, an amount she is planning to set aside for her upcoming vacation. She won second place in the same category of last year’s competition and in 2015, Bitco won first place in the woodcarving and others category and second place for the best new artist award.
For artists still sitting on the fence on joining art competitions, Bitco encourages artists to submit entries in art competitions. She was able to persuade the current second placer for the open painting category, Jesus Sulla, to submit an entry for the art competition. According to Bitco, Sulla would be joining once again next year. Sulla won $1,000 and is tied with Rosemary Diaz for second place.
The 29-and-under category is a category that showcases the artwork submissions of participants under 29 years old. First place went to Shawn Patrick Castillon, while second went to Elina Gharti Chhetri.
The 2017 woodcarving and others category had Nick Klewei and Ryan Hulleza winning first and second place, respectively. The photography category had Hervin Jacinto and Antonio Cabrera placing first and second, respectively, while the Governor’s Choice Award and the Best in Show Award went to Beatrix Susan Doyle and Emma Murray, respectively.