“I am very grateful for the opportunity Bridge Capital offers to the artists in the CNMI annually. A lot of artists I know wish that there are more companies that encourage other artists to come out and produce more artworks because there are a lot of talented artists here in the CNMI,” Bitco told Saipan Tribune.
Bitco won $1,500, an amount she is planning to set aside for her upcoming vacation. She won second place in the same category of last year’s competition and in 2015, Bitco won first place in the woodcarving and others category and second place for the best new artist award.
For artists still sitting on the fence on joining art competitions, Bitco encourages artists to submit entries in art competitions. She was able to persuade the current second placer for the open painting category, Jesus Sulla, to submit an entry for the art competition. According to Bitco, Sulla would be joining once again next year. Sulla won $1,000 and is tied with Rosemary Diaz for second place.
The 29-and-under category is a category that showcases the artwork submissions of participants under 29 years old. First place went to Shawn Patrick Castillon, while second went to Elina Gharti Chhetri.
The 2017 woodcarving and others category had Nick Klewei and Ryan Hulleza winning first and second place, respectively. The photography category had Hervin Jacinto and Antonio Cabrera placing first and second, respectively, while the Governor’s Choice Award and the Best in Show Award went to Beatrix Susan Doyle and Emma Murray, respectively.