Click photo to enlarge
Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

The Fortuna Garden Club wrapped up their competition to create their 2013 Annual Home Tour & Tea poster. The club reached out to the digital media class at Fortuna Union High School lead by Daniel Holmes. The kids worked hard to create their masterpieces and the committee picked three posters to receive awards.

Cate Abshire, a junior at FUHS, received first place in the contest and will have her poster distributed throughout the county to promote the 2013 Christmas Home Tour & Tea.

”It was very unexpected,” Abshire said. “I did not expect to win.”

In addition to having her poster promote the event, Abshire was awarded a $100 for her first place poster.

”I think it was good to be able to go back and change things on our posters. We were not stuck with our first draft,” Abshire said.

The class worked on the project applying new and learned skills to create the Candyland themed posters.

”I thought of just a generic Candyland theme and then used red gradient with snowflakes to tie it all in,” Abshire said. “I used a cute font. I was worried it was too generic.”

Abshire reflected on the class and the competition saying, “I think it was really great to have the awards. It gave us incentive. I think it is cool they gave it to high school students to create it.” The class learned how to make layers work, specific brush sizes, and according to Abshire, “Other Photoshop stuff.”

Although the competition was optional now that it is over and Abshire has won she is unsure about the exposure.

”I am a little freaked out about having it out there all over the area,” she said. “I am not very public and so this is a little overwhelming.”

Nervous or not, Abshire said she was very appreciative.

”I wanted to buy Christmas presents for my friends but did not have the money to do it,” she said. “I can do that now. I am very thankful to the Garden Club.”

Instructor Daniel Holmes said the course was a pathway course put on by Humboldt Regional Occupational Program.

”There are three years of courses set up,” he said. “Second year is website design and the third year is video production. All of these courses really showcase the kids.”

Drake Bristol, a sophomore at FUHS, received the second place award and $50 for his unique poster to promote the Home Tour event.

”I was excited to participate because I am familiar with designing and so I knew I could do this project and be creative,” he said. “I think it is cool that we can do something that will help the community.”

Bristol said he was excited about his prize.

”I have been saving all my money for a computer and it will be nice to be able to do something extra,” he said, thanking the Garden Club for the chance to help with its event.

”It was great that you gave us something professional to work on,” he said.

Receiving third place was Izzy Moreno, a freshman at FUHS.

“The whole process was really hard,” she said. “I am not really smart on computers, but then I learned and understood it. My creativity started to come out.”

Moreno said the Garden Club's course was a great opportunity.

”There are not many electives, she said. “It is great that this one offered a competition and such. It was neat to be able to do something like this. Thank you to the Garden Club for the opportunity to compete and learn.”

Several other students expressed their pleasure in the whole process and look forward to creating products in the future.

”The process was difficult,” freshman Alejandro Ornelas said. “It was a high competition with over 30 people. It was hard trying to be original when you are sitting in a room seeing everyone else's work. I felt the pressure of being different and making it eye catching. I think this was a great opportunity.”

Senior Arturo Ruiz said other schools don't get a chance to take part in a contest like this.

”I thought it was a great contest for all of us and a great opportunity,” he said. “This was a great thing that we could be a part of and learn. ... We all tried and we have one of the best teachers who helped us out and got us through it. Honestly, I didn't know any of this until he started teaching us and we started designing other stuff.”

Sophomore Lilli Fox has spent her first two years of high school in course with Holmes.

”I started in Art Class with Holmes and now I am in his Digital Media class,” she said. “I didn't think I could get a poster together, but I did and I think it will be great to see our class artwork out there.”

Fox will also be performing at the 37th Annual Fortuna Music Festival at the Fortuna River Lodge in December.

”I am excited to participate this year playing the trumpet,” Fox said.

Junior Lupita Reynosa said the contest was a learning experience.

”I learned the importance of pulling mediums and making it look natural,” she said.

”The most important part was the text and that it became part of the picture or poster. Making it blend and making it pop,” said senior Hana Biskner.

The poster can be seen throughout the county on display in store front windows and offices.

”The community really rallies around its youth,” Holmes said. “We as a class are always on board to help that community. It is great that as a digital design class we can do professional work.”

The class is now working on the backdrop for the computer lab screens that will have the rules of the lab and yet still be visibly appealing.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

The Fortuna Garden Club picked the three top posters for their 2013 Annual Home Tour & Tea. Pictured, from left: Fortuna Garden Club Co-President Beverly Ward, Fortuna Union High School Digital Media teacher Daniel Holmes, first place winner Cate Abshire, second place winner Drake Bristol, and third place winner Izzy Moreno.