HOUSTON – Each year, thousands of attendees at the Houston Rodeo marvel at the world-class Western art on display at the Reliant Center. From sketches, pastels and watercolors to oils and acrylics on canvas and even clay sculptures, the outstanding student-made artworks at Hayloft Gallery rival those of seasoned professionals.
The Houston Rodeo’s School Art Competition began in the 1960’s as Go Texan Poster Contest, which attracted around 700 entries. Now, almost six decades later, the contest boasts tens of thousands of entries from about 100 school districts.
Art is divided into several categories – colored drawing, mixed media, monochromatic, painting, 3D, elementary and junior high – and judged on their originality, creativity and composition. All submissions judged in the NRG Center will receive a ribbon, and the most phenomenal artworks will receive additional honors. Several pieces are then selected for auction.
This year 72 pieces were auctioned off. The Grand Champion piece, a color drawing titled “In His Hands” created by Pearland ISD’s Gracin Nguyen, was sold to Randa and Ray Gilliam, Mary and Ken Hucherson, for a rodeo record $250,000 Julie and Alan Kent and Kristina and sells Paul Somerville.
“She’s showing off her faith, that’s what it’s all about,” Paul Somerville said. “God bless these children and God bless Texas.”
The Reserve Grand Champion piece, a painting titled “Partners in Time” created by Foster High School student Mia Huckman, was sold to Cheryl and Gary Dietcher, Andrea and Scott Fish for a record $265,000 , Christina DiMaria and Alan J. Schwartz and Sheri and sells Rob Walker.
“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to win the rodeo, but I never thought I’d ever set a record,” Huckman said. “I want to spend the rest of my life making things people love.”
Scroll down to view artwork from the School Art Contest Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion and Class Champions. View all auctioned student artwork in the gallery at the top of the page.
Grand Champion: “In His Hands” by Gracin Nguyen, Pearland ISD (Age 16, Grade 11)
Reserve Grand Champion: “Partners In Time” by Mia Huckman, Lamar CISD (Age 16, Grade 11)
Class Winner – Monochromatic: “Gentle Pride” by Bao Yen Tran, Fort Bend ISD (Age 16, Class 11)
Class Winner – Mixed Medium: “Wake Up Call” by McKenzie Grahmann, Brazosport ISD (Age 18, Class 12)
Class Winner – Color Drawing: “Show’s Over Folks” by Kaylie Garcia, New Caney ISD (Age 18, Class 12)
Class Winner – Painting: “Haven” by Kristine Lim, Fort Bend ISD (Age 12, Class 11)
Class Winner – 3D: “Cattle In The Canyon” by Jerry Sun, Katy ISD (Age 18, Class 11)
Class Winner – Junior High: “Preparation” by Joshua Washington, Pasadena ISD (Age 14, Class 8)
Class Winner – Elementary: “Season of Blue” by Joaquin Amador, Alief ISD (Age 8, Class 3)
Reserve Class Champion – Monochromatic: “8 Second Wrecking Crew” by Katherine Xie, Pearland ISD (Age 15, Class 9)
Reserve Class Champion – Mixed Medium: “Amor Eterno” by Janelle Barreiro, Pasadena ISD (Age 17, Class 11)
Reserve Class Champion – Color Drawing: “Deep Breath” by Brice Rudis, Pearland ISD (Age 17, Class 11)
Reserve Class Champion – Painting: “Eye To Eye” by Saanvi Gireesh, Fort Bend ISD (Age 16, Class 11)
Reserve Class Champion – 3D: “Flying Low” by Christian Ruma, Fort Bend ISD (Age 17, Class 11)
Reserve Class Champion – Junior High: “Texas Nugget” by Jaden Whisneant, Warren ISD (Age 14, Class 7)
Reserve Class Champion – Elementary: “Country Wall” by Christopher Heathcock, Pearland ISD (Age 11, Class 5)
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