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Students rope rodeo art awards

By Carolina Astrain
April 26, 2014 at 5:02 p.m.
Updated April 25, 2014 at 11:26 p.m.

A Houston Livestock Show trophy stands at the VISD Fine Arts Center in Victoria.

Ashley Miska drew inspiration for her Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2014 School Art Competition piece from a photo she stumbled upon at her grandmother's house.

"It's a photo of my cousins and my brother," said Ashley, 17, who attends Victoria East High School. "It was taken in Wharton."

Her drawing, "Bonding Time," earned the Class Champion Award in the high school non-auction category - a first for the Victoria school district, said Sarah Poole, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo manager.

Ben Fogal, a Victoria West High School junior, submitted his piece, "You Can Lead a Horse to Water," to auction, which sold for $39,600. He was awarded a gold medal.

Fogal said Ashley's award was much deserved.

"She picked a good subject," Ben, 17, said. "The judges usually really like pieces with animals or children."

Ashley said she spent five months working on the piece and used markers.

"It's a medium that no one really uses," she said. "It's also the one I have the most experience with."

Winning the award was a big moment for Ashley.

"I was so happy," she said. "It was all so crazy; it felt unreal."

Along with the award, Ashley received a scholarship to attend a summer workshop at the Western Art Academy in Kerrville.

"I really wanted to win," she said. "I just kept thinking about all the people I would have let down if I didn't finish."

Ben, who attended the academy last summer, said Ashley should not be afraid of meeting new people at the workshop.

"Make friends while you're there," he said. "Because they last."

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