With the initiative of Brian McCallum, director of galleries and art instructor, and the support of Dr. Bruce Exstrom, vice president of instructional services, Garden City Community College has renewed the Sandhills Purchase Award. The award, last granted in 2007, allows GCCC to support local art and purchase a work of art for the college's permanent collection.

The Sandhills Art Association sponsored its annual art show and juried exhibition at the GCCC Mercer Gallery in October. This is the second consecutive year for the college to host the event.

College faculty and students were given the opportunity to voice their opinions and selected Robin Valenzuela's painting "Shift of Season." Valenzuela is a native and current resident of Garden City and has been working in acrylics and oil pastels since 2006. Most of her pieces, like the one chosen, are vibrant and full of energy.

Valenzuela's work has been shown in local galleries and art shows, as well as art festivals in surrounding states. She is mostly a self-taught artist but says she has been influenced by art instructors and creative family members her entire life.