2012 Barbara Benson Scholarship Winners

TACFA Awards Six (6) 2012 Barbara Benson Memorial Scholarships

Named for long-time community supporter, TUSD school Board member and TACFA Board member, Barbara Benson, these annual scholarships are awarded to TUSD high school seniors who will further their arts education in a post-secondary institution.

TACFA works with the high school’s art departments and counselors to find applicants.  Each applicant will download the application (above), will complete it, will add the additional requested data, and then will email the completed application to the TACFA Scholarship Chair listed on the application.  The application requests a career goal statement and a letter of recommendation.  After a personal interview and demonstration of the applicant’s particular talents, a panel of professionals chooses the scholarship recipients.

Alex Cho
Beckman High School

Alex Cho has a strong interest in fine art and illustrations.  While Alex has a rich familial heritage in art, he did not begin to pursue his passion until his junior year.  Since then he has pursued his interest in art by taking classes outside of the school day at Irvine Valley College, Otis College of Art and Design, and was a summer student at Cal State Summer School for the Arts in Valencia.  In 2011 he received an award from the Korea Daily Student Art Contest.  This year Alex has experimented with the visual elements of shapes–circles, triangles, and rectangles–to entice the viewer to view his art from a variety of perspectives.  Alex wants to major in entertainment and visual art effects when he pursues his college degree at Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles.  After college, he plans to work on personal projects in fine arts, concept and installation arts.  Later he is looking forward to transitioning to the fine arts and sculpture.


Callie Fink
Foothill High School

Callie Fink has been drawing since she was four years old. She is very passionate about her art which is inspired from combining elements of real life with urban and pop art.  Callie’s art has been recognized for her pencil portraits of the human figure, faces, and the eyes with attention to contrast, color and intense detail.  She enjoys blending fantasy and representational form in various media using color, shape, and texture to capture the viewer’s attention.   Callie did not begin taking art classes at Foothill until her sophomore year.  During registration for Beginning Art class, she showed her portfolio to Mr. Gillette who immediately enrolled her into Advanced Art.  Searching through on-line websites which recognize outstanding art, her art was published in a book entitled “Amazing Pencil Portraits 3.”   Her art has received an “Excellence in Art Award” in her junior and senior year.  At the 2011 TACFA Student Art Invitational, Callie won “Best of Show” for her pencil portraiture.  She has been accepted to Cal State Long Beach where she plans to major in illustration.  She hopes to work in video game design as a concept artist as well as produce her own independent work for galleries.


Evan Eley
Foothill High School

Evan Eley incorporates both traditional and digital media in his art.  He specializes in black and white charcoal and gray scale pencil drawings.  His subject matter of choice is the human figure and its range of expression of human emotions.  Evan has been in Advanced Art for two years where his creativity has been challenged in experimenting with new media and techniques.  His willingness to try new media has broadened his perspective.  He has been pleased with the results of his new experiences and has begun to focus on his college years.   This year Evan was voted the “most artistic” senior at Foothill.   He plans to pursue a degree at Cal State Fullerton where he will take anatomy courses and intensive painting classes.  He will also study concept and graphic arts and illustration to stay connected to the art world.   He hopes to one day to have a career in the fine arts with his own studio.


Heather Moore
Foothill High School

Heather Moore is an exceptional music student.  Nurtured by a music-loving family, from her grandmother to her parents and her sister, Heather’s support for her art is strong and deep.  She will tell you that music is her passion and that she feels strongly that music is just as influential as engineering or political science.  Music has taught her the value of hard work and commitment to art.  Heather is not only a piano student, but is also the clarinet section leader in the marching band and concert band.   She plays classical and jazz piano, and is the keyboardist in the Foothill Jazz Band and Drumline.  She is also Foothill’s Assistant Drum Major.  For her outstanding achievements in concert band, Heather was named the 2011 Music Student of the Year and was awarded the Order of the Knight in Fall 2012.  Heather performs in two private piano recitals a year having already performed the equivalent of a full junior recital that featured Bach, Mozart, Debussy and Scriabin, musical pieces from the Baroque to 20th century periods.   Heather plans to study piano at Cal State Fullerton, earn  bachelor’s and master’s degrees, before performing as a soloist and as a member of an orchestra.   She would like to share her music with audiences around the world with the goal of influencing their thoughts, feelings, and lives.


Omar Pelcastre
Tustin High School

Omar Pelcastre is a talented black and white photographer who especially appreciates architecture.  His high score of “5” on his AP Studio Art portfolio inspired him to work on his dream of becoming a famous photographer.  Omar inherited his love of the camera from his father, a professional photographer and with whom he has been going out on photo jobs since he was very young.  It is his father’s camera that Omar proudly carries with him wherever he goes.  He is also influenced by the photography of Annie Leibovitz.  Omar photos have won two first-place awards at the Orange County Fair and his art has been sold at the school’s BLINK art show.  Omar has earned the admiration of his teachers and friends at Tustin.   He plans to attend Orange Coast College and UC Irvine as a studio art major.


Robyn Willson
Beckman High School

Robyn Willson developed her personal passion and focus from her years of study in fashion design.  She has studied drawing, painting, photography, and theatre arts.  This unique mix of arts has helped Robyn develop her artistic concepts, imagination, and infectious enthusiasm.  Robyn studied fashion design for three weeks in Paris, France at the end of her sophomore year.  This experience helped to focus her vision for her future as a famous fashion designer and provided a level of maturity and self-confidence that has impressed all who interact with her.  Robyn is interested in developing clothing for women that is classical and reminiscent of fancier designs.  She looks forward to establishing her own business in women’s wear that will feature chic fashions and clothing from sustainable and green materials.  Robyn has been the president of the fashion design club for three years.  She has used her talents to design all of the fashions that her friends will model in an upcoming fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  Robyn would like to attend Pratt Institute in New York where she will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design.