Hallet Oak Gallery and the Lavaca Memorial VFW Auxiliary No. 6382 have recognized four Hallettsville High School students for their entries in the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Competition.

Announced at the gallery’s “First Day of Spring” celebration on March 20, the winners are:

First Place — Isabell Kalina, 16, “A Veteran’s Reflection,” oil pastels, watercolor, colored pencils

Second Place — Alaysia Wilson, 15, “Man with PTSD from War,” pencil, acrylic paint

Third Place — Avery Jernigan, 4, “Blue Angels,” acrylic paint

Honorable Mention — Emily Barrera, 15, “American Flag with Soldier,” colored pencil, marker

With almost 500,000 members nationwide, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States auxiliaries volunteer millions of hours and dollars in support of veterans, military personnel and their families. In 1979, they introduced the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest to recognize up-and-coming artists, engender an appreciation for veterans and inspire patriotism in our nation’s youth. In 2020, nine finalists in the contest, grades nine-12, received a total of $31,000 in scholarships.

Anita Barrera-Rocha, local VFW Auxiliary chairperson for the contest, explains, “We are appreciative of Hallettsville High School and art teacher Staci Powers for encouraging students to enter the contest. It is quite an honor for Hallettsville to participate.”

Lois Weiss, South Central Texas Art League president, who served as a judge, commented. “I am in awe of the talent exhibited by these young people. Staci Powers has done a wonderful job of teaching and guiding their artistic efforts.”

To view the winning work as well as other entries, stop by the Hallet Oak Gallery, 115 N. Main St. in Hallettsville through April 30. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 2 p.m. weekdays. For a virtual tour, visit halletoakgallery.com.

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