By Gale Caldwell
contributing writer 

TVAA Winter Photo Contest winners


February 17, 2024

The 2024 Winter Photo Contest held by Tehachapi Valley Arts Association and Gallery 'N' Gifts had its opening with a well-attended First Friday event on Feb. 2. Fewer entries came in this year due to the bad timing of winter storms, but those who braved the elements to enter came prepared to make things tough on the judges.

"Gallery 'N' Gifts has hosted Photo Contests every February and August since 2005," said President, Gale Caldwell. "I have never been as moved by a photo as this year's Best of Show. It is a stunning photo and well worth a stop by to see it."

The next photo contest will be in August with Submission dates of July 19-28. Watch their website at for rules, categories and other information. You can also follow the Tehachapi Valley Arts Association Facebook page @TVAAgalleryngifts for contest announcements and other art related events.

Congratulations 2024 winners:

Best of Show:

Irena Piertz


1st place: Gary Grela

2nd place: Blanca Davis

3rd place: Christine Odom

Honorable Mention: Joseph Kinn

Landscape & Nature:

1st place: Irena Piertz

2nd place: Hannah Vassallo

3rd place: Dave Seymour

Honorable Mention: Teresa Upperman


1st place: Irena Piertz

2nd place: Mark Wallace

3rd place: Christine Odom


Sam Upperman, 1st place in the Youth Photography category.

Youth Photography:

1st place: Sam Upperman

2nd place: Sam Upperman

3rd place: Nadia Erwin

Black & White:

1st place: Mark Wallace

2nd place: Irena Piertz

Travel & Architecture:

1st place: Hannah Vassallo

2nd place: Mark Wallace

3rd place: Dave Seymour


1st place: Mark Wallace

2nd place: Gary Grela

3rd place: Irena Piertz


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