12 Students Named Finalists in Rodeo Art Competition


Junior Luz Martinez (left) and sophomore Wendy Wu (right) were two of 12 finalists in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art competition district show.

12 students were selected as finalists in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art competition district show. Their artworks were advanced to the next level of judging for the possibility of winning scholarships and being auctioned off at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 12.

“I knew this year’s competitors, everyone, was really good, so I was very shocked and surprised that my artwork was one of the finalists,” sophomore Wendy Wu said. 

The district show was held at Anne Sullivan Elementary School. Other than the 12 finalists, 13 students were awarded 1st-place ribbons. 

“I was a little disappointed, because of course, we’re Clements so we’re all aiming towards finalist,” sophomore Jessie Zhang, whose artwork was awarded first place, said. “However, with the amount of time and effort I put into my painting, I do feel like I did deserve the place I got.”

Participating in the Rodeo competition begins with taking photos at George Ranch near the end of October.

“When I take pictures of other people or horses, I get to talk with them and make connections with those people and hear their life stories,” Wu said.

After getting a reference photo, students begin creating their artwork, a months-long process that lasts until winter break.

“It took a really, really long time,” Wu said. “I remember going back home every day, working around two to three hours on top of schoolwork, so it was not good for my mental sleep schedule, but in the end, it was worth it.”

Artworks entered in the Rodeo competition center on similar Western themes but differ greatly in style and technique.

“I am really proud of the students because we try to push them to work [with] different materials, different media, based on their strengths,” art teacher Kelly Chen said.

Junior Luz Martinez, a finalist in the competition, chose a monochromatic style for her artwork, La Vaca.

“Even though it’s just a style, it’s different than everyone else’s,” Martinez said. “Even in art, we’re all restricted to the same subjects, but what makes our pieces all different from each other’s is how we do it, and I think that’s what’s important, and that’s what makes art so interesting to me.”

Martinez says La Vaca is probably her best piece so far. The artwork, ‘The Cow’ in Spanish, also pays tribute to her cultural heritage.

“The title was really hard,” Martinez said. “I kind of wanted to come back to my culture as being Mexican American.”

Not only does the Rodeo Show offer students the opportunity to win scholarships, but Wu says the competition taught her a few lessons along the way.

“I learned even though a part may be hard, keep on going,” Wu said. “I realized whatever barriers I have to come through, it will be worth it in the end.”


The students’ artworks can be found here: