See 'HVAC for the Face' and the other winners in the 'On Our Own Time' art competition

See 'HVAC for the Face' and the other winners in the 'On Our Own Time' art competition

By Gabriela HarrodUniversity Communications
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"HVAC for the Face" by Allen Shapiro earned best in show from the judges of this year's "On Our Own Time" art exhibit.
"HVAC for the Face" by Allen Shapiro earned best in show from the judges of this year's "On Our Own Time" art exhibit.

A sculpture of a face mask that resembles a birdhouse crossed with a furnace filter took top honors in the 11th annual "On Our Own Time" art exhibit and competition.

The best in show award was given to "HVAC for the Face" by Allen Shapiro, technical director for Arizona Arts Live, which was one of nearly 200 entries across five categories.

This was the first time that "On Our Own Time" was held on an entirely virtual platform.

"While we certainly missed seeing the artists and their talents in person, the online exhibit has allowed us to reach even more people," said Pamela Wagner, an administrative associate in the UA RISE Health and Wellness Center, who has helped coordinate the exhibit since 2017.

With entries from as far away as Houston, she said, the geographic representation was more diverse than ever.

"On Our Own Time" showcases paintings, photos, sculptures and other art works created by University employees, retirees, volunteers and their family members. It is coordinated by the University's Employee Recognition Committee and is sponsored by the National Arts Program, which provides materials and funding for awards. Participating artists are competing for cash prizes in five categories: professional, intermediate, amateur, teen and youth.

"One artist shared with me that they really appreciated the 'On Our Own Time' art exhibit because it had encouraged her to try drawing for the very first time," Wagner said. "She was bored and lonely due to the pandemic restrictions and creating an entry for this show helped to see her through. As Pablo Picasso once said, 'Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.'"

See the winning entries in this gallery.

2021 Winning Entries

Best in Show: "HVAC for the Face" by Allen Shapiro, Arizona Arts Live Technical Director

Art Education Award: "Lanterns" by Bailey Williams, 16, family of Cindy Williams, program coordinator, Office of the Registrar

Youth (ages 12 and under)

  • First Place: "Beauty Behind the Beasts" by Victoria Escamilla, 12, family of Sonya Lopez-Escamilla, senior accounting assistant, UITS
  • Second Place: "Polar Bear at Night" by Ezra Coan, 5, family of Andrew Coan, associate dean, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Third Place: "Violet" by Aria Marshalsay, 11, family of Carolyn Marshalsay, accountant associate, College of Medicine – Phoenix

Teen (ages 13-18)

  • First Place: "Abstract 1" by Sabina Coan, family of Andrew Coan, associate dean, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Second Place: "Grieved in His Heart" by Fatima Ruiz, cashier, BookStores
  • Third Place: "Girl Sitting in the Mailbox" by Nitya Kari, family of Aradhana Kari, research specialist, Cancer Center

Amateur (entrants with little or no experience)

  • First Place: "Black and White" by Miguel Paz, family of Irene Ramirez, engagement coordinator, All of Us Research Program
  • Second Place: "Smoke Break" by Grant Johnson, Department of Animal and Comparative Biosciences Feedlot Technician
  • Third Place: "Spirit of the Cowgirl" by Jacque Ramos, BookStores

Intermediate (entrants with some experience)

  • First Place: "Rising Phoenix" by Michele Vaughan, community outreach professional, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Second Place: "The Forgotten" by Corey Shemroske, family of retiree Penny Brashears
  • Third Place: "Espiando a Tumacácori" by Angel Aguirre, volunteer


  • First Place: "A Spoonful of Earth Balance" by Lisa Galloway Sprietsma, family of Joseph Sprietsma, program coordinator, Cooperative Extension
  • Second Place: "Fallen Spirits" by Stephanie Collins, family of Eric Collins, principal information technology support analyst, Department of Computer Science
  • Third Place: "Silenced" by Jennie Norris, graphic designer, Facilities Management

Honorable Mentions

  • "Anthem" by Barbara Lopez, administrative associate, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • "Isolated in Crowded Spaces" by Ruben Moreno, senior exhibit specialist, Arizona State Museum
  • "Rattle Snake" by Samantha Wanlass, 10, family of Pamela Foitik, associate accountant, Athletics
  • "Santa Catalinas" by Erik Buckley, family of Laura Todd Johnson, senior vice president for legal affairs and general counsel
  • "Self-portrait" by Ulli Hain, family of Ryan Weltzer, clinical research coordinator, Department of Medicine
  • "The End" by Frank Whitehead, senior program coordinator, School of International Languages, Literatures, and Culture

Gabriela Harrod is a student employee in the Office of University Communications.

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