An 18-year-old senior at Wakefield High School in Arlington was chosen from among 100 students as the best-of-show winner in the Arlington Arts Center's juried high school art show which opens tomorrow night. The show will run through May 5.

In Chol Pak was given the award for three of his paintings, which were among 132 entries judges accepted for the show. Almost 260 works were submitted by 125 students, representing all public and private high schools in Arlington, said Mary Rackmales, directors of the center.

Pak's work and other entries were judged by three area jurors last Thursday and the results were announced in the high schools the next day. Any student in grades 10 through 12 was eligible to enter.

Rackmales said the show was a venture that successfully combined the resources of business, education, government and the arts. But she especially praised teachers who encouraged students.

The large number of entries, she said, "depended on the enthusiasm and support of the teachers within the schools. Basically, it all gets down to them. Without their support, it wouldn't have worked."

The basic funds for the show came from an $800 grant from the Virginia Commission on the Arts and Humanities Rackmales added that two local businesses and one civic group also made contributions of prizes that were awarded.

Rackmales said the student exhibition, which is the first high school art show in the area in 10 years, "is one that any gallery would be proud of." She noted that the jurors were pleased with "the quality and diversity of the show."

Pak, who will receive a summer scholarship to the Concern School of Art, is a native of Korea whose family has lived in Arlington for nearly two years.

"I still say to myself, I don't believe it," he said. "I guessed that maybe I was going to get third or second, but I didn't think I would get first."

The award also surprised his family, he says with a grin: "They asked me, 'Are you sure? and I said, 'I wonder.'"

Pak has been painting for five years and was a student for two years at the Art and Music High School in Seoul. He is considering a career in commercial art, but wants to study the fine arts as well.

"Commercial art is just for making money, for making a living. If I can, I'm going to take fine art because there's more humanity in it," he said. "I love people and I'm a Catholic. First of all, I know that all these talents and achievements, God gave me."

Fifteen other prize-winners were named in five categories: painting, drawing, graphics and design, three-dimensional (sculpture, ceramics and other crafts) and photography.

First-second-and third-place winners in each category:

PAINTING - Kyung Suk Kim, Wakefield High School; Miriam Neet, Washington-Lee, and Marilya Ono, Wakefield.

DRAWING - Dale Buckner, Career Center; Kenneth Dola, Wakefield, and Rosario Cadima, Wakefield.

GRAPHICS - Ken Shipp, Bishop O'Connell; Lydia Belateche, Washington-Lee, and Stephanie Finch, Woodlawn.

THREE-DIMENSIONAL - Donna Fay Shrewsbury, Washington-Lee; Marrietti van der Sluijs, Yorktown, and Ed M. Sims, Clay.

PHOTOGRAPHY - Steve Usdin, Woodlawn; Stephanie Finch, Woodlawn, and Phillip Jacobs, Career Center.

Pak will receive his award from Dorothy Grotos, a member of the Arlington County Board, at the opening reception and awards presentation from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow. In addition to the Corcoran scholarship, a $15 gift certificate for art supplies was donated to the best-of-show winner by Dyer Brothers, Inc.

Each of the other prize-winners will receive $25, $15 and $10 for first, second and third place, respectively. The top prize for photography also includes a new camera, courtesy of Allen Photo Service, Inc. and the first prize in drawing includes a gift of $25 from the Potomac Women's Club.

Jurors for the high school art show were Rona Slade, a teacher at the Corcoran; Anne Salley, an art instructor, and Frank Lavelle, a photography instructor, both of the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

Twenty-five honorable mentions were selected by the judges and will be announced at the reception, which is open to the public. The Arlington Arts Center is at 3550 Wilson Blvd. For more information, call 524-1494.

"Dark of the Moon" at LTA

The Little Theatre of Alexandria production of "Dark of the Moon" boasts brilliant direction, flawless acting and a thoroughly bewitching mood.

Witching is what the play is about. John, the witch boy, talks the Conjur Woman into making him human so he may woo and wed Barbara Allen, the beautiful girl of the Southern Appalachians. But witches take a dim view when one of their own deserts to God-fearing mortals, and in the end they have John back and have claimed one of the human enemy as well.

The play's atmosphere is enriched by sensual dancing, imaginative lighting and the sweet clear singing voices of the 26-member cast. As the principals, Matthew Ashford and Glenda Stroup are splendid.

The play runs through Saturday, April 29. Ticket information may be obtained by calling 683-0496.

Larry Kaltman