New show opening at Gallery 625 – WCC Student Show

YoloArts and Gallery 625 present:

Woodland Community College Student Showcase


Featuring the Kingsley Merit Scholarship Award Finalists

A group exhibition of the Kingsley Merit Scholarship finalists along with art work from students across Woodland Community College will open at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 on June 2.

Each year, Sacramento’s Kingsley Art Club sponsors an awards program to support emerging art students from community colleges in the Sacramento region. The visual arts faculty at each college selects one outstanding student to be recognized and receive the $600 monetary award.

Gricelda Vargas, Untitled,
Print on Archival Paper, 2023
10 x 7 inches

Selected as the 2023 scholarship merit award winner from Woodland Community College is Daniel Zapata-Kraft for his painting, Seed of Evil, currently on exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum.

Five students applied for the Kingsley Merit award: A. A., Carol Butzbach, Andres Marquez, Joey Sable, and Daniel Zapata-Kraft. The Gallery 625 exhibition will feature the work of these five students, along with the art work of Maria Del Carmen Reyes Fabian, Ridley Silva, Acacia Sisneros, Gricelda Vargas, and Kaitlyn Wright, all students in the WCC art department.

Woodland Community College’s art department was revived in 2020 with the hiring of Manuel Fernando Rios, the college’s first full time art professor in over a decade. Coupled with the announcement of the college’s new Performance and Culinary Arts building (currently under construction), students have been enrolling in art classes and responding with impressive artwork, as the program is being re-built, professor Rios noted.

“Adding WCC to the Kingsley Merit Scholarship Awards was one of my top priorities when I was hired, along with finding additional opportunities for students to showcase their work to cultivate and help grow the art community in Woodland,” Rios said. “Having students exhibit their work at venues such as Gallery 625 is one of the most rewarding feelings an art professor can have.”

Joey Sable, Bay Bridge Joyride, Ink on Paper, 2023, 20 x 16 inches

Scholarship winner Zapata-Kraft was born in Miami, Florida raised in Woodland, and is a sophomore at Woodland Community College. He enjoys painting and writing comics and is interested in pursuing a career in art and entertainment.

In his artist statement about his award winning piece “Seed of Evil”  Zapata-Kraft says:

It has a lot of cartoon inspired elements. The gloved hands and spindly limbs are reminiscent of rubber hose animation. I wanted my figure to be grounded in reality however, so before painting I made a simple sculpture for reference out of wire and clay…having the effect of making a cartoon figure look somewhat realistic and three dimensional. For the colors I knew I wanted the sky to contrast the seed’s red face, so I shifted both the blue sky and green field two spaces over on the color wheel. This had the unintended effect of the piece taking place in a wheat field. Lastly, I wanted the figure to tear through the earth with a destructive laser beam, but in the end, I decided on the idea of a laser simply erasing what’s in front of it. I wanted its power to be cosmic and unknown, not shedding shade nor emitting light.”

Daniel Zapata-Kraft, Seed of Evil, acrylic on canvas

Rios has this to say about WCC’s Kingsley Merit Scholarship winner:

“Daniel is one of those students who you’re glad to see every day because he’s so enthusiastic about art and ready to try new techniques. He has a colorful palette with imagery full of cartoonish characters that hold a more serious tone when closely observed. On top of that, he’s just such a nice guy to be around.”

The student artists and their professor will be attending the opening reception, 5:30-8 p.m. Friday June 2, coinciding with the downtown Woodland First Friday event. Light refreshments including Yolo County wine, will be available. An award presentation for the artists will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Woodland Community College Student Showcase continues at Gallery 625 through August 1, 2023.  The artwork can also be viewed online at

Also opening on June 2 upstairs at Gallery 625 is the annual exhibition of artwork from the I SEE YOU project. This community art program seeks to increase visibility among humanity, communication across social divides and leading to increased human connections. The ongoing program continues through June 2023 and is held on Thursday afternoons 3-5 p.m. at Fourth & Hope, 1901 E. Beamer St, Woodland. The program offers consistent access to professional teaching artists through weekly art engagements, art supplies and an opportunity to creatively process emotions. The exhibition will feature painting, drawing, photography, and mixed media pieces. Teaching artist Melissa Uroff and assistant Angelo Esquivel lead the program. The I SEE YOU exhibit continues through June 30.

Gallery 625 hosts exhibitions and receptions every other month. New exhibitions typically open on the first Fridays of February, April, June, August, October, and December.

Gallery 625 is located at 625 Court Street in Woodland, in Yolo County’s Erwin Meier Administration building and is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, contact YoloArts at 530-309-6464.

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