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John Tyler Community College Foundation Announces 2020 Art Award Winner

Primary Media Contact:

Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager

Secondary Media Contact:

Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager

Released on February 17, 2020

Foundation Art Award Winning Piece: Meandadri

Artist Diana Rose Penaloza

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Diana Rose Penaloza’s love for art emerged when she was just six-years old. At that time, she was living in the Philippines and buying art supplies was not easy, as her family did not have much. That did not, however, stop Penaloza from pursuing her interest. She used any pencil she could find and began drawing cartoons and anime. By the time she was eight-years old, Penaloza’s classmates noticed her talent, and they gave her lunch money in exchange for her artwork. Those early art commissions supported Penaloza in more than one way. “They helped me a little financially, and they helped me develop my talent at the same time,” she said.

In 2018, Penaloza moved to the United States. After considering her educational and career options, the self-taught artist decided to go to college to learn new skills and hone her talent. She enrolled at John Tyler Community College and decided to study graphic design with a goal of eventually earning a bachelor’s degree and becoming a multimedia artist at a big creative studio. As she worked toward that goal, she continued to paint and draw. Now, one of her pieces, Meandadri, has been named as the John Tyler Community College Foundation 2020 Art Award winner. Penaloza says the artwork, which features the portrait of a girl, helps illustrate how everyone is uniquely beautiful. “I am really grateful and happy to receive this award because I believe that this is just the start of my journey as an artist,” Penaloza said. 

The John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award, which originated in 1995, showcases the artistic abilities of Tyler’s students. Finalists were chosen by the Foundation Art Award Selection Committee, made up of Foundation Board members and college faculty and staff. Members of the Foundation Board of Directors then selected the winning entry from among the finalists. An image of the winning artwork is converted into a poster and into cards that are used by the Foundation and the college. The winner receives a financial award, a framed and matted copy of the poster, and additional posters for his or her portfolio.

In addition to Penalozo (23112), the following students created artwork that were finalists for the 2020 John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award (zip codes follow each name): Tracey Bourne (23229); Josh Cloninger (23139); Daisey Fentiman (23222); Jack Goolsby (23114); Samantha Hevener (23235); Mary Elizabeth Miller (23113); Darby Carlyle Smith (23120); and Terron J. Thompson (23223).

The JTCC Foundation secures resources that provide scholarships for students; fund academic programs, student support services, capital projects, and renovations to modernize classrooms and labs; and stimulate innovation within the college faculty and staff. This work ensures the college continues its pledge of providing academic excellence to students while expanding the services it offers to meet the community’s workforce requirements. Since most of the College’s graduates live and work in the area, gifts to the Foundation are an investment in both students and the community.    

John Tyler Community College offers more than 75 majors that provide pathways to careers in high-demand fields; transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities; and industry credentials and licensures. The college, with campuses in Chester and Midlothian, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 14,000 students during the 2018-19 academic year. It also assisted more than 7,000 learners through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance, a partnership between Tyler and Reynolds community colleges.

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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager


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