HISD student artists take home ribbons, scholarships at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

For 58 years, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) has held its School Art Program, an opportunity for students to compete to earn scholarships and have their artwork displayed at the rodeo’s Hayloft Gallery. Of more than 650 artists, 52 HISD students were finalists, 12 were winners, and all were honored with a special reception.

Honorees and their families were invited to view their artwork at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center on Feb. 21. Visitors and artists were welcomed by South Division Superintendent Imelda De La Guardia, Curriculum Director Dr. Shannon Parish, and Fine Arts Curriculum Coordinators Rickey Polidore and Chandel Bonner-Hancock, who spoke about the importance of Fine Arts and HISD’s longstanding relationship with HLSR.

Art students begin working on their pieces for the School Art Program in August, and their work is turned in for judging in January. Thousands of pieces of artwork representing the hard work and talent of HISD’s student artists have been displayed and auctioned at HLSR since the inception of the School Art Program, and more than 2 million dollars in scholarships have been awarded to HISD students.

Additionally, the art auction is an opportunity for student artists to showcase their work to rodeo-goers and to potentially sell their piece for a guaranteed premium. The premium is determined by the piece’s placement in the contest, and each premium has a corresponding monetary cap. Any money received over that cap goes to HLSR’s Education Fund to be used for scholarship and grant recipients.

“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a huge contributor of scholarships, and not only that, but a platform of the arts, not just performing arts, but visual arts,” said Bonner-Hancock. “It’s something that has been supported for many years, not just through financial assistance for our students, but by showcasing and honoring the work that they do.”

The 12 award-winning rodeo art pieces will be on display at the Hayloft Gallery inside the NRG Center from Tuesday, Feb. 22, to Sunday, March 17. To learn more about the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s School Art Program and their many scholarship opportunities, visit their website.