The COVID-19 pandemic couldn't stop these students or their talent! Now their work could go on to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Well, the rodeo may not be open to the public this year. But that isn't putting a stop to its mission of helping area students get those scholarships for college.
- ABC 13 digital producer Brittany Willmore joining us now live with a look at the unbelievable rodeo art winners for 2021. We did a small story on this earlier. We're just blown away by the talent there.
- Absolutely, you guys. These students are so talented. I just want to show you the artwork immediately. Because we talked to a couple of the students who are the Reserve Grand Champion and the Grand Champion in this year's art show. The first artwork by high school senior Jaden Kitzinger of [INAUDIBLE]. She was named the grand champion for her painting titled "Through the Years."
She said she came up with the idea after going to a ranch and taking 800 photos of horses. After coming in second last year, she said she noticed what other winners did to take home the top prize and used that as motivation. Now, for the next piece of artwork, This is from Reserve Grand Champion Justin Amamoy, a sophomore in Stafford. His piece is called "United Ambition." And his motivation was thinking of a horse as man's best friend.
He got emotional accepting his award. He grew up in a family of artists. So it meant a lot for him to win, especially when it came to scholarship money.
- Well, for me, it helps my mom a lot. You know, growing up with a lot of siblings, my mom has had to face a lot of stressful situations.
- Now, next up, both of their pieces will go up for auction on May 16th. And I want to remind you of another really awesome rodeo event that's still going on, the Calf Scramble. This is a fan favorite. And just because the rodeo is not in person this year it doesn't mean we have to miss all of this action. They're going to be live streaming it coming up this weekend on April 17th and 18th. But, again, congratulations to those talented students. Live in the newsroom, I'm Brittany Willmore. Back to you.
- Gosh, just so good. I have zero artistic talent. So I'm just blown away. And the fact that he got a little emotional, oh, it's so sweet.
- Oh, yeah, yeah, you know, it does mean a lot to these kids and to their families. You know, when the auction happens, they're going to use that money to go to college.
- Yeah, absolutely. And Justin said he wants to go to the University of Phoenix. But he was blown away that he won. And the young lady that won, Jaden, she was surprised as well. I mean, they beat out more than 3,000 entries to get where they are. So this is really great for them.
- Good point there. Gosh, thanks so much, Brittany.