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Sunflower Art Competition

It is with great regret we inform you that the NAMI-Yolo Sunflower Art Show and Tallest Sunflower in Yolo County has run its course and is ending after a wonderful ten-year run.

We thank you for all of your incredible enthusiasm, support and of course the marvelous artwork, all of which helped make our community more aware of mental health issues.

We wish you continued success and thank you again for believing in the power of creativity and growth.


The NAMI-Yolo Sunflower Art Committee
Leslie Carroll, Melissa Lyans, Marilyn Moyle, Millie Braunstein, Nancy Temple

a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Art Exhibit

The Sunflower Art Competition is sponsored by NAMI-Yolo, a grassroots mental health advocacy organization that offers education, advocacy and support to people living with mental illness and their families. The competition is to choose the design for the “Seeds of Hope” sunflower seed packets which are sold throughout the year as part of NAMI-Yolo's Tallest Sunflower in Yolo County Contest.

NAMI -Yolo, a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is located in Yolo County, a thriving agricultural center in Northern California where sunflowers are a major seed crop.   Inspired both by the sunflower painting by a young student with bipolar disorder and by the sunflower paintings of 19th century Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh who suffered from mental illness, NAMI-Yolo chose the sunflower as a bright and bold symbol of hope for people living with mental illness.

One of NAMI-Yolo’s missions is to make the wider community aware of mental health resources and issues. NAMI-Yolo has been building bridges between communities since 2002. The Sunflower Art Competition continues to grow.  In 2003, there were 50 art entries. In 2012, there were over 400 individual art entries.

The Sunflower Art Show has proven to be not only a successful community art event but is also used as an educational program in local schools where teachers have developed lesson plans that use the Sunflower Art Competition to teach students about mental health issues while learning about art.

NAMI-Yolo's hope is that as people become better educated about mental health, there will be a reduction in myths, misconceptions and prejudices that result in the stigmatization of mental illness and that often delay much-needed treatment.

2012 Artist Awards

Child (under 8)
First -Joey Kunkel, (Davis) Age 7
Second - Amara O'Brien, (Davis) Age 6
Third - Zuria Horning, (Davis) Age 7
Honorable Mention 
   Olivia Crucillo (Davis) Age 5,
   Artem Sergeev (Granite Bay) Age 5
   Josh Dwyer (Age 6)

Youth (Ages 8-12)
First Mariya Grabuska, (Roseville) Age 10
Second (Tie)
   Alyone Kuznik (West Sacramento) Age 9
   Iriana Agnew, (Davis) Age 12
Third (Tie)
   Caroline Korinke (Davis) Age 10
   Garrett Beoshan (Davis) Age 12
Honorable Mention
   Sophia Nachmanoff (Davis) Age 9
   Jaeli Williams, (Davis) Age 9
   Patrick Foraker (Davis) Age 12

Teens (Ages 13-17)
Justin Scoonover, First (Woodland) Age 16
Diana Guz, Second (Carmichael) Age 16
Third (Tie)
   Diane Kurbatova (Sacramento) Age 17
   Yuliana Vasilenko (Antelope) Age 15
Honorable Mention
   Wilson Xu (Davis) Age 15
   Arnon Erba (Davis) Age 13

Amateur Adult
Aileen Nichols, First (Pittsburg)
A J Slizeski, Second (Davis)
Irwin Segal, Third  (Davis)
Kevin Roddy (Davis); Evan Fong (Davis); Honorable Mention

Professional Artists
Jan Walker, First (Davis)
Judy Catambay, Second (Davis)
Jennifer Nachmanoff, Third (Davis)
Bruce Guttin (Davis), Jan Schubert (Winters), Honorable Mention

First Place

   Willett Elementary - 3rd grade
   Teacher: Ms. Owings

Second Place

   St James Elementary  2nd grade
   Teacher: Carrie Ceniseroz

Third Place (Tie)
   Dingle Elementary 4th Grade
   Teacher: Ms Prindle

   Patwin Elementary 4th Grade
   Teacher: Ms. Britz

Honorable Mention

   Cesar Chavez Elementary 3rd Grade
   Teacher: Fiorella Mendoza

   Willett Elementary 1st Grade
   Teacher:  Ms. Doty

Yolo CANVAS Art Class, First
Heidi Bekebrede's Davis Art Center class, Second
"Group of Girls" Miss Mary's Studio, Third
Yolo County Wellness Center, Honorable Mention:

Special Awards

  • Marjan Kluepfel (Davis)
    Seed Card Award
    Artwork is used for the  “Seeds of Hope” sunflower seed packets, sold throughout the year as part of NAMI-Yolo's Tallest Sunflower in Yolo County Contest

  • Sue Darst (Davis)
    William Albrecht Mental Health Education Award
    annual award honors educators who use the NAMI-Yolo Sunflower Art Competition as an opportunity to educate students about mental health issues. The award for 2012 is $400. 
  • Kate Land (Davis)
    Spirit of Hope Award.
    An annual award given to the artist who best captures the spirit of the Sunflower Art Show.
  • Pat Lucero (Woodland)
    Lifetime Achievement Award




Detail "Sunflowers" Harriet Blodgett