Diné College Students Showcase Works at 2019 Art Walk

Freshman Jacinda Talkalai, a pre-engineering major at Diné College, stands next to art instructor Don Whitesinger and in front of pieces of art work on display at Art Walk 2019. Talkalai won a 1st Place/2D Design award at the event.


July 1, 2019

Berchman, Talkalai Win Best of Show, 2D Design Honors

TSAILE, Ariz. — Freshman Jacinda Talkalai says she wouldn’t really call herself a “natural artist.” And sophomore Cassandra Berchman said she thinks art, the discipline, is something she’d like to pursue academically — all the way up to finishing with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts.

Both were top winners at the recent Art Walk 2019 whereby dozens of Diné College students garnered awards in everything from color theory, graphic and web design, digital photography and painting, among other categories.

The annual art show was staged at the Guy Gorman Classroom Building and a few of the entries still hang. The event is open to students at Diné College.

Talkalai’s Reverence won 1st place in 2D Design and Berchman’s Nashdo Tsoh took Best of Show in the Painting category.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a natural artist,” Talkalai, 18, said. Talkalai is from Window Rock and graduated from Gallup High School. “I would say I’m a lost natural artist because when I was younger through my freshman year of high school, I used to draw a lot. I would draw anything I would feel and just run with my creativeness. In reality, my passion is drawing.”

Matthew Bollinger, an art and design Diné College faculty member, said the art show has been a mainstay at Diné College since 1981. He said the works of art submitted by students this year ranged from painting to digital design.

“It really is a wide range of art work that you’ll see,” Bollinger said. “The students are very talented.”

Bollinger said the criteria used to judge the winning entries included creativity, experimentation, craft, technique, color, content and concept.

Cassandra Berchman

Berchman, 25, is a sophomore majoring in Fine Arts. Originally from Hunters Point, Berchman said she’s been participating in the popular Art Walk “throughout my time here as a student.” Berchman graduated from Rough Rock High School.

“My favorite part of Art Walk is seeing all the art work on display,” Berchman said. “I enjoy looking at other people’s art work. I enjoy creating art work and hearing other people say that I’m talented with what I do.”

Bollinger, himself a graphic artist, estimated that hundreds of people have seen the 2019 display. First, second, third and honorable mention awards are given out to some nine categories. Besides Bollinger, art faculty members Karen Willeto and Don Whitesinger assisted in the organization of the event.



Marie R. Etsitty Nez 
Vice President of External Affairs

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