Darius Beiklou, a Rancho Santana Elementary School student, displays his “Most Admired” painting as San Benito County Superior Court Judge Omar Rodriguez presents him with a certificate recognizing the creation. Photo: Michael Moore

The San Benito County Superior Court showcased original art pieces from dozens of local students for an exhibit at the courthouse on Fourth Street in Hollister last week. 

Court officials reached out to schools through the San Benito County Office of Education earlier this year to ask students to submit works for the exhibition. Students created a variety of drawings and paintings that depicted an array of summer scenes, landscapes and still life images. 

The works were on display in the courthouse jury room June 23, filling the walls and tables throughout the space. Five of the submitted works were recognized as the “Most Admired” submissions, and the young artists who created them were awarded a certificate by Superior Court Judge Omar Rodriguez.

The purpose of the exhibition was to enhance the court’s engagement with students and families throughout San Benito County, and remind people that the superior court offers many services—even for those who are not victims, accusers or defendants. 

“We’re trying to remind people that the court is a part of the community,” Rodriguez said as he awarded two of the young artists—Eli Ray Garcia and Darius Beiklou—with their certificates. “And it gives us an opportunity to meet some of the kids and families so that they can engage with us. The kids submitted some great artwork.”

Eli Ray Garcia, who is going into sixth grade at Pacific Point Christian School, stands next to his “Most Admired” artwork at the San Benito County Superior Court student art exhibition June 23. Garcia was recognized with a certificate from Judge Omar Rodriguez. Photo: Michael Moore
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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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