Students’ artwork could earn big bucks in Rodeo auction

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo may not be open to the public this year, but talented students at the core of the event are not going unnoticed.

On Sunday, 72 students were selected to participate in the School Art Auction to be held on May 16.

Among them were the top winners Jaydan Kisinger, who took home the prize for 2021 Grand Champion Work of Art and Justin Amomoy, the 2021 Reserve Grand Champion.

Kisinger, a high school senior in Fort Bend ISD, said she came up with the idea for her piece, “Through the Years” after going to a ranch and taking 800 photos of horses.

She also used coming in second last year as motivation when she noticed what other winners did to take home the top prize.

“My inspiration was mostly my motivation. I wanted to do well because I knew I wanted to do art for a career. I knew I wanted art to be my livelihood,” Kisinger said.

Amomoy’s work, titled “United Ambition,” features a man and a his horse. He told ABC13 he thought of horses as man’s best friend and how they worked together toward one ambition.

“My favorite part of the work would be the man. It’s really the first time I drew a man. Animals, I’m used to it, but I’m pleasantly surprised with how well the man looked,” said Amomoy, a sophomore in Stafford.

Amomoy also explained how the scholarship money will mean a lot for his family. The teen said he grew up in a family of artists, so this was huge.

“For me, it helps my mom out a lot. Growing up with a lot of siblings, my mom has had to face a lot of stressful situations, having to deal with college and taxes. I think this money will help alleviate some of that stress,” Amomoy said.

Getting to this stage in the rodeo’s 2021 School Art Program is no small feat.

More than 3,000 entries were sent in for preliminary judging back in January. Then, that number was whittled down to 712 pieces.

Now 72 students, including Kisinger and Amomoy, will take part in the auction in May.

A student’s artwork can also fetch some big cash.

In 2019, Grand Champion Hector Maldonado’s colored drawing sold for $240,000, a rodeo record. Reserve Champion Melissa Sosa’s work sold for $180,000.

Check out this slideshow to see the 2021 works of art.

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