Two-time champ says drawing 'takes you away'

Jan. 8, 2011 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 10, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.

Karen Peterson looks over the entries in this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo School Art Contest, on display at Victoria Mall.

Karen Peterson looks over the entries in this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo School Art Contest, on display at Victoria Mall.

For the second year in a row, Margaret Glidewell didn't get to see her daughter's drawing displayed in the Victoria school district's Houston Livestock Art Show.

But that was just fine with her - its absence meant Melissa Glidewell's art was on its way to Houston.

The 17-year-old senior at East High School took Best in Show at the Victoria contest, meaning her drawing, titled "Era of Legends," would be entered in the Houston contest.

"I didn't think I was going to get it this year," the two-time Best in Show winner said. "There were a lot of good ones."

Last year, Glidewell's drawing made the final cut at the Houston show and was entered into an auction, where it sold for $16,000, she said.

"I got $2,000, which is great, because I didn't think they'd take $50 for it," she said.

Another East student who entered this year's contest has also banked on his talent.

Alexis Lopez, 15, already has scholarships to the University of Houston-Victoria and Victoria College, thanks to his first-place drawing in UHV's Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest.

"It's not enough. I want to do more," he said.

The young artists' teacher at East, Desiree Yates, highlighted the opportunities art provides for students in the community.

"Just to participate in this contest, they get the opportunity to apply for scholarships," she said. "It's really good for the kids to get involved in - especially the younger kids. They love to draw this kind of stuff."

Kids of all ages can enter the art contest, and this year's judges saw 317 pieces.

Lopez said he'd been participating in the contest since middle school, taking home the Special Merit award last year. This year, he will go home with a red ribbon for his colored-pencil drawing, "Tie Down Roping."

"He had said 'I don't think I'm going to Houston this year, but I'm happy with it,'" Lopez's mom, Sandra Lopez, said.

What's perhaps more impressive than the detailed drawing of cowboys roping a calf was that Lopez actually caught the action shot on his own camera.

"He took this picture, and I said, 'This is really special,'" his mom said. "He was working on it until 2 in the morning every night."

Lopez joked that he was just happy to be done with the difficult piece but said, "I want to go harder every year and to challenge myself."

Because she's a senior, Glidewell won't get another chance to defend her title. But, she'll definitely still practice her art, perhaps even as a tattoo artist, she said.

"I just like to draw," she said. "It's like reading a book. I guess it takes you away."



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