Laural, who received an American Vision Award, and Phillip Sokolov,
who won a gold medal, both received scholarships and earned the right to
enter their works in a national competition in New York in March. The
winning art work will be displayed at the Corcoran Galley of Art in
Washington, D.C. James Krenzke was awarded a silver medal.
Through a sign-language interpreter, Laurel 18, said her mixed media
piece depicts the frustration deaf people feel of not being understood.
Her work consisted of a series of portraits painted on a wine box -- each
facial expression symbolizing a human emotion.
"Through my art I want to bring awareness to the deaf community,"
Laural received a $2,000 scholarship toward first-year tuition at
Otis, and Phillip, 17, received full tuition for a four-week precollege
The three Burbank students competed against about 500 other students
from as far south as San Diego and as far north as Bakersfield, said
Jeanie Frias, who coordinated the award program.
Phillip said his father, an animation artist who worked at Disney and
now has his own business, has been a big influence in developing his love
"When I was small my dad would correct all my drawings. He'd always
want me to do better," he said.
With a nod to comic book art, Phillip incorporated futuristic two-
and three-dimensional figures in a clay sculpture.
James, 18, a senior, said he took a lighter approach to his piece, a
sculpture of a lazy gorilla sitting on a leather reclining chair. The
gorilla is one of many characters he has developed over the years.
"I have sketch books filled of all these characters that I make up.
They're all in my head and I just sit down and sketch them," he said.
Burbank High Art teacher Dan Gerdeman said he was thrilled with the
recognition given to his students.
"I'm so excited. This is the first time any of my students have won
awards," Gerdeman said. "They are truly artists."