FISD students’ art to get a Texas-sized audience
Artwork from seven students from Friendswood Independent School District is about to reach a massive audience guaranteed to be in tune with the theme they followed.
Their works will be on display from Feb. 25 to March 17 at the Hayloft Gallery at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which has a tradition of displaying Western art from students from the region’s districts.
Friendswood High School will be represented by sophomore Micaela Nelson, junior Deniz Eran and feshman Shriya Alli. Their teachers are Mandy Harris and Mary Wise.
Nelson won the high school’s best of show with her acrylic painting of a mother longhorn with her newborn; Alli’s watercolor of chickens and Eren’s acrylic of a bull rider about to enter the rodeo arena were gold medalists.
The district will also be represented at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo by Friendswood Junior High School eighth-graders Averi Horman and Abigail Jansky, fourth-grader Ava Kate Harrison and first-grader Rilee Huynh.
“We are so proud of these students for this great accomplishment,” Harris said. “Overall, we had over 300 students compete in the rodeo art competition, and it is always so exciting for them to display their work in our district art show.”
Schools in the district hold preliminary judging to narrow the number of entries and select 20 finalists from high school, 10 from junior high and 10 from elementary schools. These finalists are then submitted to a HLS&R committee where the final selections are chosen to be displayed during the rodeo.
The Friendswood district’s rodeo art efforts generate enormous enthusiasm, according to FISD Superintendent Thad Roher.
“You walk into a packed library with kids of all ages and see their faces beaming with joy, proud parents and some amazing artwork,” he said.
The selection process begins early in the school year, with teachers singling out students from their classes and then those students develop an idea for a piece.
What separates the best from the others is in the details: color, texture, line quality, originality, creativity, spacing, balance and subject matter.
Nelson’s acrylic and Alli’s watercolor were selected to go to auction at the rodeo, which is major recognition, said Harris.
Out of thousands of entries from around the Houston area, about 60 and 70 artists’ pieces are chosen to go to auction each year.
Harris enjoys watching students go through the process of creating art that resonates with people.
“It is so fun to watch their artwork come alive and see how it helps them believe in themselves,” Harris said.
What appears on canvas seem like bold statements and images, but some artists, said Harris, need that extra vote of assurance that the rodeo competition provides.
“(It’s about having) confidence in themselves and their artistic ability,” she said. “Many students are very apprehensive and do not really believe they can draw anything that looks realistic. This assignment stretches them to go beyond what they think they can achieve, and most students are so surprised by how well their work turns out.”
Art teachers for the students are Harris, Wise, Jenifer Sundrla, Audrye Williams, McKenna Giamfortone, Vicki Berk and Stefanee Cibulski.
For more information on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo go to https://bit.ly/2EMDt7i