2010 Oklahoma Aviation Art Contest Winners Announced

Officials with the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission have announced the winners of the Oklahoma 2010 International Aviation Art Contest. The students will be recognized for their artwork during a 2 p.m. ceremony at the State Capitol in the Governor’s Blue Room March 3.

Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird will serve as master of ceremony, and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins will provide remarks and present certificates to each of the winners.

In addition to the certificates, first-place winners in each age category will receive a check for $100; second-place winners $75; and third-place winners $50.

The international art contest encourages youth from around the world, ages 6 to 17, to reflect on aviation by designing a piece of art based on the year’s chosen theme. This year’s theme is “Flying With the Sun.”

“It’s such a thrill seeing our youth getting so energized about aviation, an industry that has quite a legacy in Oklahoma and is one of the state’s largest employers,” Bird said. “This year’s aviation art students have done a stellar job of capturing the wonders of manned flight, and we are looking forward to honoring each one of them for their individual accomplishment.”

In the 6 to 9 age group, twins Brenna Rodgers and Braden Rodgers, third-grade students from Meeker Elementary School, finished in first and third place, respectively. Second place went to Thomas Buchanan from Newalla, who is a kindergarten student at Virginia Smith Elementary in Harrah.

Reece McQueen, a seventh grader at Ketchum Junior High School, was the first-place winner for the 10 to 13 age group. McQueen also took home top honors in last year’s contest for the same age category. Finishing second in the 10 to 13 age group was Kelsey Barnett, an eighth grade student at Guthrie Junior High School. Brooke Hightower, a seventh grader from Cushing Middle School, placed third.

Tanner Cassell from Elmore City, who is a sophomore at Elmore City – Pernell High School, (art shown above) won first place in the 14 to 17 age group, while Braden Gurley, (art shown on right) a senior from Ada High School, took second. Placing third in the 14 to 17 age group was Channing Solon, a junior from Ada High School.

Judges for this year’s art contest included Michael Eddens, arts education director for the Oklahoma Arts Council; Glen Henry, director of arts education at the Oklahoma Department of Education; Melissa Graffigna, aviation and space education program manager with the Federal Aviation Administration; Ben Robinson, vice president for institutional advancement at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics; and Bill Southwell, director of Acquisition Support at ARINC.

More than 100 students across Oklahoma participated in the contest. The top three entries for each age group have been forwarded to Washington, D.C.,to compete in the national contest.

The 2010 National Aviation Art Contest is sponsored by the National Aeronautic Association, supported by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in association with the National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Coalition for Aviation Education, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

To view the list of winners and their artwork, please visit http://www.ok.gov/OAC/Aviation_Art_Contest_Winners_2010.html.