Winners of the Youth Arts Contest Announced

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AUSTIN— The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Arts in the Parks program has announced the winners of the Texas State Parks Youth Arts Contest, which ran from May 1 to Nov. 1. TPWD will showcase the winning art pieces in the 2017 calendar and on the Arts in the Parks webpage.

The contest is part of a larger national competition organized by the “Get to Know” organization, which encourages kids to get outside and create art. Youths were encouraged to share their outdoor experiences using art, writing, photography, video and music. Submissions were entered in both the state and national Get to Know Contests.

Texas judges chose winners from three age categories: 14-19, 10-13 and under 10.

The grand prize winner is Grand Prairie native Kailee Mathison, 17, for her entry “Habitat.” The artwork was inspired by the diverse landscape of Palo Duro Canyon State Park. This entry will be the cover image of the calendar.

Marlyss Brightwell, 15, from Mesquite won first prize in the age 14-19 category for her photograph titled “The Great Blue.” The photo shows a great blue heron standing on the beach at Galveston Island State Park. This image will be used as the January page in the calendar.

The winner of the 10-13 age group is Joy C., 13, from San Antonio for her photo titled “My blue-eyed brother.” The photo shows a blue-eyed boy sitting above the waterfalls at Blanco State Park. This picture will be the featured image in the calendar for the month of May.

Pearland native Sophia Ma, 9, placed first in the age 10 or under category with her artwork titled “Heron by the Water.” The entry was inspired by the wildlife at Brazos Bend State Park. Her art will be used as the feature image for the month of September.

The Arts in the Parks program, which started in 2013, provides a creative outlet for kids to showcase the beauty of Texas State Parks through art, photography, writing, videography and music. The program has grown steadily over the last four years and more parks statewide are hosting art workshops year-round.

For a PDF copy of this year’s calendar, visit the Arts in the Parks page.

To see this year’s entries, visit the Texas State Parks gallery.

To find an art workshop near you, visit the arts & crafts and photography event pages on our calendar.