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George Jones Jr. chats with Melodee Ramirez, North Lake College art instructor, and Arjoon K.C., Fordham Award honoree.

Contact: Kathye Hammontree
214-378-1536; or
Eddie Miranda

For immediate release — May 1, 2013

Editors’ note: Biographical sketches for student awardees are included below.

(DALLAS) — The art of life is reflected in the art of music, painting, drawing, sculpture and writing, created by talented students who attend one of the seven colleges in the Dallas County Community College District. Their efforts have earned scholarships funded by the DCCCD Foundation and named to honor a family whose members have helped students build rewarding lives.

Those 14 students recently were recognized during a special event at El Centro College that included an exhibit of works by visual arts students, plus a stage performance that featured music and writing awardees.

The Cecil Wallace Fordham Award in Visual Arts and the Alice Jones Berding Award in Music were awarded to one student at each of the seven colleges of DCCCD. One student also received the Eleanor Jones Award in Creative Writing. The awards are made possible through endowments donated by Eleanor and George Jones and their family through the DCCCD Foundation, each carrying a cash award amount of $500.

Donnie Wayne Morris, El Centro College Berding Award honoree, performs with accompanist Faye Jones, ECC music instructor.

“DCCCD appreciates so much that Mrs. Eleanor Jones and her children and grandchildren have continued the tradition of honoring their family and our students through these scholarships,” said Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., DCCCD’s chancellor. “The family’s dedication to creative and performing arts survives in the works and dreams of these outstanding students. Gifts such as such these are a lasting legacy honoring both the benefactors and the recipients.”

The Cecil Wallace Fordham Award in Visual Arts was endowed in 1979 by Eleanor Fordham Jones and her husband, George Rather Jones, in memory of her father. The award honors Cecil Fordham, an automotive mechanical engineer and veteran of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who built furniture as a hobby and had a lifelong appreciation for beautiful design. The award is given annually to an outstanding visual arts major at each of the seven colleges in DCCCD’s system.

This year’s visual arts honorees (listed with hometown, college and major or field of study — with the exception of Mountain View College) are:

* Oscar Chacon of Carrollton, Brookhaven College, painting and drawing;
* Marco Torres of Lancaster, Cedar Valley College, printmaking;
* Alexandra Gilbreath of Sachse, Eastfield College, drawing;
* Raymond Pratt of Dallas, El Centro College, art;
* Arjoon K.C. of Irving, North Lake College, art; and
* Janette Sanchez of Garland, Richland College, art and psychology.

Members of the Jones family with Dr. Wright Lassiter

The Alice Jones Berding Award in Music honors its namesake for her years of teaching piano both privately and in Dallas schools, and was established in 1977 through a gift from Berding’s brother, George Rather Jones, and his wife, Eleanor Fordham Jones. Continued by the family after Mrs. Jones’ death in 1981, the award is now in its 36th year.

Awarded annually to an outstanding music major at each of the seven colleges of DCCCD, with preference to piano students, this year’s academic honorees are:

* Youngmin Kim of Carrollton, Brookhaven College, music;
* Gabriel Penaloza-Pineda of Duncanville, Cedar Valley College, music;
* Sophia Ramirez of Dallas, Eastfield College, musical theater;
* Donnie Wayne Moore of Dallas, El Centro College, voice (plus paralegal studies);
* Daniel Flores of Dallas, Mountain View College, music performance;
* Alaina Tompkins of Colleyville, North Lake College, music theory and French; and
* Ross Owen of Dallas, Richland College, music performance and audio engineering.

The Eleanor Jones Award in Creative Writing, established in 2002 in honor of Mrs. Jones’ 75th birthday by her family, is presented annually to one creative writing student representing the entire district who excels in prose or poetry. This academic year’s honoree is English major Matthew Dalzell of Richardson, who attends Richland College.

For more information, contact Kathye Hammontree, DCCCD Foundation, at (214) 378-1536.

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2012-2013 DCCCD Berding/Fordham/Jones Arts Awards
Student Awardees Biographical Sketches

Cecil Wallace Fordham Award in Visual Arts

Oscar Chacon — Chacon, a resident of Carrollton, attends Brookhaven College and currently is studying painting and drawing. His career plans include becoming an exhibiting artist and an art teacher for an inner-city youth program, and he also would like to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts, focusing on painting. His exhibit pieces included three oil paintings on canvas titled “Bonito Lake,” “Into the Blue-Black” and “Oil and Water.” He has exhibited works at several Dallas galleries, including Gensler Gallery, Nerv Gallery, the Jennifer and John Eagle Art Gallery (Episcopal School of Dallas), LuminArt Gallery and 500x Gallery.

Marco Torres — Torres, a Lancaster resident and Cedar Valley College student, has a background in art that includes computer graphics, painting and printmaking. A native of Mexico, Torres wants to work as an independent printmaker and plans to enroll at the Kansas Art Institute and major in 3-D printmaking. His exhibit entries were two woodcuts titled “Omar’s Reign of Terror” and “Kim Nuke,” and a monoprint called “Grandma.” The inspiration and expression of his art originate from documentaries and important events around the world that affect society.

Alexandra Gilbreath — Eastfield College student Alexandra Gilbreath is a graduate of Sachse High School and has shown her works in the SoFresh Student Exhibition at EFC in 2012 and the Garland Independent School District Student Exhibition in 2010 and 2011. An art major, she plans to transfer to the University of North Texas to continue her education after she graduates from Eastfield. She plans to make art her lifelong career, and she says, “... creating art is what makes me happiest and is what allows me to see the world around me in new ways, whether they are good or bad.”

Raymond Pratt — A Dallas resident, Pratt attends El Centro College and plans to eventually teach art at the high school or college level. An art major, he moved from Florida to Texas and has shown his works in several college exhibits; he also is the recipient of several scholarships and awards at El Centro and from previous competitions in Florida. Pratt’s works in the El Centro exhibit for scholarship winners included a mixed-media piece titled “Homage to Salvador Dali,” a digital mixed-media piece called “Three Cousins” and an acrylic on canvas work titled “2013 Deco in Discord.” He makes art “with the mind of a scientist, always questioning the outcome and pushing the limits of those outcomes.”

Arjoon K.C. — Arjoon, an Irving resident, is enrolled in the arts and technology program at North Lake College. A native of Nepal, he earned an associate degree in art from North Lake last fall and plans to be a freelance artist and to explore home décor. Arjoon currently is pursuing an additional associate degree at Brookhaven College. He has won a number of awards and honors during his academic career at North Lake and has exhibited his work in Irving, Dallas, Addison and elsewhere. He illustrated several magazine and book covers when he lived in Nepal. The works he chose to exhibit at the El Centro event were two acrylic-on-canvas pieces titled “Beyond the Light, NY” and “Lost in Light, NY,” plus an oil on canvas called “Tracing Radiance, Broadway, NY.”

Janette Sanchez — Sanchez, who lives in Garland, is working on a double major in art and psychology at Richland College. She has been working with ceramic sculpting for five years (high school and college) and would like to pursue a career in art therapy. Sanchez plans to complete an associate degree in art at Richland and then transfer to a four-year university. She moved to Texas from California and is the recipient of the 2012 Parker Pottery Scholarship at RLC. Sanchez submitted two works for the scholarship exhibit at El Centro; the first was stoneware, mixed media, titled “Circus Act Part I”; the second was stoneware with stains called “The Dead Will Have Their Day.”

Alice Jones Berding Award in Music

Youngmin Kim — Kim, a native of South Korea and a resident of Carrollton, attends Brookhaven College. A violinist, he began playing at age 7 and currently is majoring in music. He hopes to become a performer and teacher of the violin, which he played during the recent scholarship exhibit/performance at El Centro College. Kim chose to perform Beethoven’s “spring” sonata (“Violin Sonata No. 5 Op. 24, Allegro”); he was accompanied by Eunjin Ann on piano. Kim has served as concertmaster for the Brookhaven Stringed Ensemble and has shared his talents with students and the college during solo performances as well.

Gabriel Penaloza-Pineda — Penaloza-Pineda, who lives in Duncanville, is majoring in music at Cedar Valley College. He was born in California and has played the alto saxophone since 2004. He would like to become a music instructor. His performance piece on alto saxophone was titled “Improvisation et Caprice,” composed by Eugene Bozza.

Sophia Ramirez — Dallas resident Sophia Ramirez attends Eastfield College, where she is majoring in musical theater. She has been teaching private lessons in voice for three years, has sung in a college choir and has taken musical theater classes for a year. She would like to perform on Broadway and also to continue to teach private voice lessons or remain involved in musical theater. Ramirez would like to start an after-school music program for underprivileged children. During her scholarship performance, she sang two selections: “You’ve Got Possibilities” by Charles Strouse and “It Won’t Be Long Now” by Lin Manuel Miranda.

Donnie Wayne Morris — Dallas resident Donnie Wayne Morris is a nontraditional student at El Centro College, where he currently is studying Spanish, paralegal studies and voice. He has been involved with the Dallas Opera Chorus for 14 years, was a vocal minor at Texas State University, a member of the Dallas Bach Society and a soloist at the Vatican in 1998. His career plans include becoming a paralegal and a Spanish translator. Accompanied by Fayette Jones, Morris sang two selections for his scholarship performance at El Centro College: “Bella siccome un angelo” from “Don Pasquale” by Donizetti and “Vainement, ma bien-aimée” from “Le Roi d’Ys” by Lalo. This summer, he again will attend the University of Guadalajara in Mexico for summer vocal and language studies.

Daniel Flores — Flutist Daniel Flores, a native of Mexico, lives in Dallas and is studying music performance at Mountain View College. He has played the flute for seven years and plans to finish his associate degree at Mountain View and then transfer to the University of North Texas to pursue a degree in music education, his career of choice. For his scholarship performance, Flores played “Suite in A Minor” by Telemann. He said that his biggest dream in life is to be a member of the Dallas Wind Symphony.

Alaina Tompkins — A resident of Colleyville, Tompkins is studying music theory and French at North Lake College. A classically trained pianist, she is planning a career that includes playing and writing music; teaching piano; and managing or representing a band. After she completes her associate degree at North Lake, Tompkins will transfer to the University of North Texas to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music. She has taught at the School of Rock and has participated in the North Lake Jazz Ensemble. Her piano performance piece for the scholarship celebration at El Centro College was Beethoven’s “Sonata 20 in G Major – No. 2, Tempo di Menuetto.”

Ross Owen — Dallas native Ross Owen has studied the cello since he was 8 years old. The Richland College student currently is studying performance, concentrating on cello, and audio engineering. He plans to continue performing on cello in the music community and working in a recording studio. Owen previously studied performance at the University of Texas at Arlington and then decided that he was interested in computers and audio engineering, which brought him to Richland College. He plans to complete an associate degree in music and then pursue an undergraduate degree in audio engineering. His performance piece for the scholarship celebration at El Centro College was titled “Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, I. Prelude” by Bach.

Eleanor Fordham Jones Award in Creative Writing

Matthew Dalzell — Texas native Matthew Dalzell lives in Richardson and attends Richland College, where he is majoring in English. He currently is studying both English and French, and he would like to pursue studies in the creative and literary fields, eventually earning a master’s degree in creative fiction or poetry and perhaps teaching English as well. Dalzell wants to become a published author, particularly in literary journals, poetry books and sources that feature short stories. His presentation during the scholarship performance/exhibit at El Centro College was a reading of his poem “Why Love the Volant Eagle.”

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