Malia Tombaga, Artist Extraordinaire

Malia Tombaga, Artist Extraordinaire
Malia presenting her piece ‘Fruits of My History’ at the COMPAS Art Showcase

Have you ever wondered who created some of the many posters you see hanging around our school? Or who is the Vice President of our high school art club? Which student was invited to paint a mural in her old elementary school? Look no further than Malia Tombaga: Artist Extraordinaire.

Malia is in her Junior year and recently finished her first year of AP Art and Design (Her portfolio is available for viewing below). Tombaga enjoys using art to express feelings she can’t describe. “Sometimes it’s hard for me to articulate some of the heavy emotions I feel. Art allows me to explain my emotions visually,” said Tombaga.  She is a local artist from Roseville, MN. Her art is known around RAHS for her use of expression and shadow along with some of the posters she has made for RAHS Clubs and activities.

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  • Mango Muncher

  • Peers

  • Petrified in Blue

  • Those Who Watch Me

  • Experience the Ocean

  • Conflicting Identity

  • Fruits of My History


Malia with Congresswoman Betty McCollum

In many of her pieces, Tombaga uses her diverse heritage to inspire her art. A recently created piece of hers, Experience The Ocean recently won 2nd prize in the 2024 Congressional Art Competition (View Gallery Here). “The piece is based on my first time going to Hawaii and seeing the ocean. It makes me feel connected to my roots and reminds me that my history starts before me.”

Tombaga was recently awarded Best in 11th Grade in the COMPAS 50th anniversary art show and gallery for her piece Fruits of my History (View Gallery Here). “My final product ends with a watercolor painting of me surrounded by colorful fruits from places I’m from. The red, yellow, and green fruits are mangos from the Philippines, the green oval-ish fruits are guava from Hawaii, and the deep red apples are from Japan. The hair lays over all of the fruits to reference the importance of long hair in Hawaiian culture.”

Currently, Tombaga is working with Central Park Elementary School on a mural planned to be completed by May of her Senior year. She is awaiting the results of her AP portfolio but has high hopes of receiving at least a 4. If you’d like to reach out to Malia to commission her work you can find her on Instagram @ryuki.bleh.

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