Students “Hang With the Best” at a local art show

Every year, students participate in the “Hang With the Best” art show. This year, Ava Cooper, senior, took home the first place award for photography and many other students won awards.

“Hang with the Best” is a local show that is put on by the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley. Students are given the opportunity to win money if their artwork is selected by the Arts Council board.

Eric Lindroth, photography teacher, has his students enter the show every year.

“It’s really great to see all the turnout this year from all the students who showed up that night to accept their awards. I was really impressed with the quality of work that was submitted to the show this year, too,” Lindroth said. “I also think it’s a very generous show, as far as monetary compensation for the winners. I am really proud of my students for how well we did.”

John Lazo, senior, and Cooper both entered the show this year and the past year.

To create her picture, Cooper traveled to South Dakota and combined her photography with her photoshop talents.

“I was in Wall Drugs, (in) South Dakota, and there was this hallway with pictures just going straight down and I took a picture of that. I made it black and white because I love the depth of it,” Cooper said. “I used another picture of my sister facing another wall and photoshopped her into the picture of the hallway so it looked like she was looking down the hallway. It drew your eyes into the photo.”

For his photograph, Lazo pictured himself along the Pacific Coast Highway. He used a longer exposure to blur the car lights behind him, but in the process, walked out of the frame.

“I walked out of  the frame before the shutter finished going, before the thirty seconds.  So my body is kind of transparent in the picture, which is kinda cool,” Lazo said. “ I knew from last year that generally as a show … the winning art kind of gravitated to the abstract, kind of creative pieces of art.”

Lazo was awarded $100 for his photograph which placed second in the competition and Cooper was given $200.

For Lindroth, the art show provides the opportunity for his students to showcase their work to hundreds of people.

“Everything is so online now. Photographs are in a digital format. Photography … what it has been about for many, many years before digital, is always printed. So, it’s always good to get back to the roots of what photography is– to get it printed,” Lindroth said. “But also it’s just, it’s important to me to support the arts and that we support the art being out there and the only way art survives if the people are looking at it and enjoying it. So that’s why “Hang With the Best” art show is so important, is to make sure that we keep art alive in our society.”

Cooper plans to continue to enter art shows once in college.

“You have to put yourself out there. You just can’t stay back and say, ‘I don’t think it’s good enough’ because you just don’t know. You might think that, but someone might find your work brilliant,” Cooper said. “It’s always awesome to put your work out there and let it be seen by hundreds of people.”


Here are a list of winners from NPHS for all categories:


ACCV Board Awards

“Reflection of the Personal Spectrum”, by Amy Peterson, Digital Photography, second


Barbara Sullivan Award

“Fin de la Journee” by Aiden Wright, Photography, first



“Starry Faces” by Annie Sun, Mixed Media, first



“Journey Into My Memories” by Ava Cooper, black and white, first

“Temporary Mirror” by Billy Bosse, second

“Transparent” by John Lazo, second

“Nantucket Sunset” by Alyssa Banaszkiewkz, third

“Country of Colors” by Celeste Cortez, third

“Swirls and Ripples” by Jacob Mai, honorable mention

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