The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Award-winning artists

Prestigious MVHS artists reflect on their journeys
Tatiana Yoo
Tatiana Yoo (12) submitted “Started With A Box” to the NUMU Los Gatos ArtNow exhibition. Yoo responded to the prompt “In Transition” with a piece reflecting on childhood wonder.

When going to install her artwork for the NUMU ArtNow show in Los Gatos, senior Tatiana Yoo originally wasn’t proud of her piece, “It Started With A Box” – a digital drawing that depicted a girl looking into a cardboard box containing her “fantasy world.” However, a conversation with one of the gallery personnel changed her perspective. 

“When I went to visit the museum, I met a lady who worked there,” Yoo said. “She told me that she connected with the message of my piece because when her grandson went to a mall Santa, all he asked for was a cardboard box. And that really made me feel prouder to know that someone really connected and resonated with my piece.”

According to Yoo, her piece depicts how people’s creativity transitions and evolves as they grow up, responding to the 2024 Art Now theme “In Transition.” Out of the 1,000 students who submitted to the contest, Yoo’s piece was one of the top 10% of entries across Santa Clara County that were selected for display at the exhibition. 

Yoo is one of many artists on campus who have received accolades for their work in art. Junior Pallavi Malik has won several Scholastic Gold Key awards for her paintings and graphic design. Malik follows the “design thinking” method to develop her works.  She describes this method to be “non-linear,” having to repeat the brainstorming and ideation steps multiple times to arrive at her final concept. Malik notes that she saw a jump in her artwork’s recognition, as she won two Gold Keys during the 2024 competition compared to her honorable mention in 2023. 

“It’s really fun to see the finished product after you’ve been working on it for maybe months on end,” Malik said. “The ones that I won recently are my favorites because they show more skill in them. It is nice to be recognized for that kind of stuff, especially this year because I got a higher award.”

Junior Nishanth Joshi also feels proud of the recognition his art has received. Having taken art classes since first grade, Joshi notes how he has improved since in different artmaking mediums. He has also won multiple awards, including the San Jose Art Museum Jerry Hiura Memorial Scholarship and the Cupertino Young Artist award. According to Joshi, one of his most notable award-winning pieces was created for the NUMU 2023 ArtNow Competition. Joshi decided on a composition that included a distorted finger gun against a black poster board to respond to the 2023 theme “Unarmed Truth.”

“It was to represent the distortion of truth by the media specifically around minority groups,” Joshi said. “I wanted to show how even though we made so much progress in society, there’s still mistreatment towards minority groups and overall a lot of disparities in how people are treated.”

While Joshi currently does art commissions and hopes to continue art as a hobby, Malik plans to apply to art school in the fall and major in graphic design. Yoo is currently following that path, as she is committed to Otis College of Art and Design to pursue entertainment art. As someone who faced a lot of pressure from her parents and peers to switch fields, she describes how the one thing that kept her going was her genuine passion for her work. Yoo urges people who are interested in art to continue to follow their passion regardless of external influences.

I think the best thing to do is to just keep sticking with it,” Yoo said. “The reason why I kept sticking with art was because I think that idea of enjoyment was worth more than what other people thought would become more successful or give me more money in the future.”

MVHS’s exhibiting NUMU artists

Three MVHS artists discuss their pieces in the ongoing NUMU 2024 exhibition


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About the Contributors
Manas Kottakota
Manas Kottakota, Sports Editor
Manas is currently a junior and sports editor for El Estoque. In his free time, he enjoys biking with his friends, traveling to new places with his family and cooking.
Sagnik Nag Chowdhury
Sagnik Nag Chowdhury, Opinion Editor
Sagnik Nag Chowdhury is currently a junior and an opinion editor for El Estoque. In his free time, he likes watching TV, biking with his friends, trying new foods and discovering new places in Cupertino.
Sonia Verma
Sonia Verma, Design Editor
Sonia is a senior and design editor for El Estoque. In her free time, she likes to draw and watch YouTube.