St. Joseph fifth-grader’s painting to be shwon in virtual exhibitions

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Fifth-grader Alyana Aciarto, second from left, is awarded the 2021 Nagaoka City Mayor's Award as part of the MOA Museum of Art Japan-USA Cultural Exchange Children's Painting Exhibition. Alton Higaki presented the award with Aciarto's mother, Jeannette Aciarto, and St. Joseph teacher Matt Eftink.

A painting by a St. Joseph Elementary School fifth-grader will be on display in Japan and Honolulu for a year.

Alyana Acierto won the 2021 Nagaoka City Mayor’s Award for a painting submitted to the MOA Museum of Art Japan-USA Cultural Exchange Children’s Painting Exhibition.


The award was created for the Honolulu-Nagaoka Sister City Art Interchange to strengthen the relationship between the sister cities.

Seven years ago, a MOA art instructor from Nagaoka City came to Honolulu to participate in the annual Honolulu Festival to promote cultural exchange between the cities and countries.

The instructor found that both cities have participated in the MOA Museum of Art Children’s Painting Contest, and suggested that the two cities exchange artwork from their respective children’s painting exhibitions.

Last year, the exhibitions were put on hold due to COVID-19, but this year, both cities decided to conduct the art exchange virtually.


A digital image of Acierto’s painting will be part of both virtual exhibitions.

“This was really surprising and exciting,” Acierto said. “I love to paint and want to keep doing it.”

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