Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to converge on the Will Rogers Memorial Center over the next three weeks for the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
One of the most important aspects of the entire event is what it means for youth. Teenagers show their livestock, but another impressive part of the festivities is the Stock Show Art Contest.
All Saints’ Episcopal School had an amazing number of students place in the contest with the school winning Grand Champion School. Junior, Arden Johnson, was named individual Grand Champion.
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"I like being able to be creative and be expressive," Johnson said. “I used colored pencils and pastel for the background. It took three months to do it, but it was worth it."
Johnson said she was surprised about what she was able to accomplish.
“I've never drawn anything that realistic ever," she said. “I was pretty proud of it about halfway through, I could tell it was probably going to look pretty good."
Johnson was not alone as three more of her classmates garnered honors.
"Four in the individual [contest] which is so outstanding because there are only a total of nine spots," art teacher Nola Graham said. "I was so excited. I felt very good going into it. I tend to know what looks really good."
Graham can be seen as more than just their art instructor. She’s the artist helping to sculpt their futures.
"I've had so many students come back to me and tell me how it has changed their lives," Graham said. “It's what I want to do. It touches my heart and I'm so happy for them."
Graham teaches the technique, but the soul, love and heart comes from the students.
"I enjoy doing it because it is expressive but not attention-seeking," Johnson said. “I really am lucky to have won such a big title, but everyone's was awesome."