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Society for the Performing Arts (SPA), Houston’s leading performing arts presenter, recognized 29 participants from its 15th Annual Student Visual Art Contest sponsored by Wells Fargo at an awards ceremony recently held at the Wortham Theater Center.

Megan Yu

Taylor High School freshman Megan Yu (right) and mom Puchin show winning smiles. Yu’s artwork titled “Deep Family Roots” was awarded third place at Society for the Performing Arts 15th Annual Student Visual Art Contest.

More than 500 pieces were submitted to this year’s visual art contest, offering all kindergarten through 12th grade students in the greater Houston area the opportunity to showcase their talents and win prizes while learning about the performing arts. Students submitted artwork based on the theme The Spirit of Cultural Celebration, inspired by SPA’s presentation of the internationally renowned, Mexican-born singer and composer Lila Downs.

Entries ranged from paintings to drawings to digital images. All submitted artwork was judged on creativity, skill and interpretation of the theme The Spirit of Cultural Celebration. Participating judges included Michael A. Chmiel of Jack Meier Gallery; Jason Moodie of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Michelle Barnes of The Community Artists’ Collective; local artist Adelina Ruiz Moya; Zachary Gresham of Art League Houston; and Richard Williams of Glassell Jr. School.

The Division D (ninth through 11th grade) winners were: First Place – Seoyoung Kim, Memorial High School, Spring Branch ISD; Second Place – Bethany Ochs, Memorial High School, Spring Branch ISD; Third Place – Megan Yu, James E. Taylor High School, Katy ISD; Honorable Mention – Anna (Hee Won) Cho, See Woo Jong and Hyeyun Jeong, all of Memorial High School in Spring Branch ISD.

“Every child is creative and each possess a unique history and rich set of experiences that are assets, said SPA Director of Education and Outreach Joe Angel Babb. “The Wells Fargo Student Visual Art Contest promotes instruction in the arts that builds upon those strengths. When given encouragement and an opportunity to try, every child develops the skills and attributes of an artist such as observation, synthesis, empathy and communication. I congratulate the contest winners, but also the teachers and parents who support the creativity of children. They are helping kids achieve here and now and making an investment in the future prosperity of our community.”   

Winners received scholarships to Glassell Jr. School, memberships to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and tickets to see a performance presented by Society for the Performing Arts.