A marker drawing by Jihoo (Catherine) Kim, an eighth grader at Fallon Middle School, and a watercolor by Larissa Hom, a junior at Amador High School, received “Best in Show” awards in the Pleasanton Art League’s youth art competition for 2021.

The art league, which organized the PAL’S Pals competition for students in sixth grade through high school like a professional art show, received more than 50 entries from 13 middle schools and 13 high schools. Most came from the Tri-Valley area, but entries were also received from as far away as Round Rock, Texas, and Aurora, Illinois.

The entries are on display online at the Pleasanton Art League’s website,  www.pal-art.com, now through the end of the month. In addition to the two best of show winners, volunteer judges awarded five merit awards and five honorable mentions in both the middle school and high school divisions.

Jennifer Huber, a local artist who headed the art league committee that organized the competition, called the exhibit “a reflection of our youth’s world through art.”

Huber, who also teaches at the Bothwell Art Center, added, “Kids really approach art very differently from adults. It is fascinating and unpredictable. The pieces showed sophistication and knowledge that can only come with lots and lots of practice.”

Kim, who titled her drawing “Broken Colors,” said she “always wanted to try a drawing/art with only 1-2 colors and the different shades of the two colors. It sort of reminded me of someone who might not be able to see all the different colors.”

Hom said her gouache watercolor, “Cadence,” “explores the influence of music and its relaxing and healing nature. The rhythm of music gives peace of mind and a way to help cope and escape the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The PAL said the competition was designed to simulate a professional art show, from preparing entries for submission to feedback from the judges.