Three Students Earn Scholarships at the Western Art Competition


Lauren Guzy

Three Fredericksburg High School juniors, Gabe Cross, Sutton King and Avery Semmler each earned a $4,000 college scholarship on Dec. 5, from The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo for placing among the top artists in the Western Art Competition.

Out of the 14 Fredericksburg High School art students who entered the 2021 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Western Art Competition, Cross, King and Semmler placed in the “At Large” class, which consists of 12 out of the top 17 artists in a pool of over 200 applicants. 

Cross is an Art III student who submitted his pencil-drawn portrait of a cowboy titled “Before the Ride.” King is an Art III student who entered an ink drawing titled “Hand Pecked” depicting a chicken inside a barn. Semmler is an Art IV student who pencil drew a boy getting ready to compete at a rodeo titled “Cowboys.”

The other Fredericksburg High School students who entered the competition were Enrique Alvarado, Olivia Findley, Ashlyn Flores, Jessica Palacios and Whitney Phillips who placed in the top 50 and received gold ribbons. Emily Beyer received a red ribbon. Tatum Klepac, Isaac Sanchez, Aleitha Sierra, Valeska Rodriguez and Montserrat Viveros received white ribbons.

The Western Art Competition is open to high school students from 94 schools in 33 counties from south-central Texas. The western-themed art is ranked by a panel of judges in the five classes of sculpture, painting, colored drawing, monochromatic drawing and mixed media. The San Antonio Livestock Exchange, Inc. provides a total of $90,000 in college scholarships each year to the 17 top-ranked artists.

“I’ve been interested in art my whole life, so when heard that my art was in the top 17, it was a big deal,” King said. “I am very grateful for the opportunity that was given. Programs like these are making it possible for kids to pursue their dreams. A scholarship of $4,000 really does make a difference and made me want to actually pursue my dreams. I appreciate Coach Hall and the San Antonio Stock Show for making all of this possible.”

The Briscoe Western Art Museum in downtown San Antonio will exhibit Cross, King and Semmler’s artwork, along with the other top 14 pieces, throughout January 2021. After their month of being in the museum, the artwork will also be exhibited from Feb. 11-28 at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo grounds.

 “The high school art classes would like to thank the FISD Education Foundation and the Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance,” Melissa Hall, the Fredericksburg High School art teacher said. “They support our students and made this opportunity possible through grants we received to help purchase supplies for the classroom.” 

 Hall guided and encouraged her art students in the classroom through this process.

“It can be difficult to put yourself out there to be judged and these kids took that risk and three of them were rewarded with scholarship money,” Hall said. “I am excited for the students to have success in this competition in hopes that more students will participate each year. I’m extremely proud of all the students who participated.”