2023 Young Artist Awards
In 2019 and 2020, El Dorado County lost four beloved members of its community: Richard H. Bush, Lanny Langston, Joey Cattone, and Jane Van Camp. In their memory, and as a way of celebrating their impact and their legacies, Arts and Culture El Dorado created the Young Artist Awards, which honor juniors and seniors at El Dorado County high schools in four categories: Music, Theatre, Visual Art, and Nature-inspired Art. The recipients of these awards also receive $500. A reception for the families, students, and nominating teachers was held at Arts and Culture El Dorado’s Switchboard Gallery on Thursday, April 27.
Paul and Maggie Bush, joined by Leslie Bush, presented the 2023 Richard H. Bush Award for Music to Audrey Ewing a senior at Oak Ridge High School. Audrey, nominated by Paul Verloff, is a standout clarinet player who has assumed a leadership role in the band program. She was admitted to the prestigious Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific with a Major in Music Therapy. “With her outstanding musical skills and compassion to help others, Audrey no doubt has a bright future,” Paul says.
Dan Cattone awarded the 2023 Joey Cattone Award for Visual Art to Anandita Gupta, a senior at Oak Ridge High School. Anandita, nominated by Michelle Kite, is a gifted artist whose haunting, evocative pieces often concern “the feminine, children, and the innocence of life,” according to Michelle. Anandita is also active in the community as a leader and volunteer. “We are stronger through the arts and artists like Dita,” Michelle says.
Tish Langston award the 2023 Lanny Langston Award for Theater to Jayce Kaldunski, a senior at El Dorado High School. Jayce, nominated by Paul Tomei, has been involved in theater—first at Imagination Theater, then at Studio 81—for most of his life. Beyond being a star talent on stage, Jayce is also active in the community. Paul Tomei says, “He puts his heart, energy, and time into countless community organizations. He leads from the heart in all matters.”
The 2023 Jane Van Camp Award for Nature-inspired Art was awarded to Macie Douglas, a junior at El Dorado High School. Macie, nominated by Krista Potter, is a dedicated member of the Natural Resources Program. She has designed the shirts for the program two years in a row, contributed art to the program’s 10’x50’ mural, and will lead a learning station focusing on the intersection of nature and art at the program’s Natural Connections Day. “Her artistic talents enrich our program and the community,” Krista says.
An annual program, the Young Artist Awards will continue to celebrate the great promise of younger generations and honor the lives and legacies of the “bright lights” who came before them.
Students Awarded This Year
Richard H. Bush
Award for Music
Nominated by Paul Varoff
Award for Visual Art
Nominated by Michelle Kite
Award for Theater
Nominated by Paul Tomei
Jane Van Camp Award for
Nominated by Krista Potter