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Houston Rodeo School Art Program

Every year at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo millions of people gather to see the biggest rodeo and livestock show on the planet. What few people outside of the show realize is that there is also a lot of culture to the Show, including an international wine competition and more. The fact is, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is filled with events that most would be surprised to find, including the annual School Art Program.

Begun in 1964 the School Art Program was a way for the organizers of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to give students everywhere the opportunity to not only showcase their artistic skills but also to show what the West and the Rodeo lifestyle means to them. Since its foundation in 1964 the School Art Program has had more than 8 and a half Million entries from students as young as pre-k to High School Seniors.

These students come from all over the country but the prerequisite for the program is that their entry must be original and it must be centered on the history, heritage or culture of the West. Their entry can be painted or sculpted and, while they aren’t exactly riding horses or roping cattle, the pride that they bring to each and every entry is obvious.

The School Are Program is broken up into a number of different parts, all of which bring certain challenges and require certain skills. One of the first is the Quick Draw Contest where students from registered middle and high schools compete in a sketching contest that has specific time limits. There are cash prizes to be won in the Quick Draw Contest as well as the chance to attend a workshop at the famous Glassell School of Art. In addition all 12th grade seniors receive scholarship applications to college.

In the lobby of the Reliant center in downtown Houston where the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is held every year there is a display of many of the works presented by the students in the Hayloft Gallery. If you’re keen on seeing the work of up-and-coming artists then you need to get over to the Hayloft Gallery to get an eyeful. In addition to being displayed here all Elementary School students who enter the School Art program are eligible to be in the Reliant Energy Power of Art Contest.

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