Family and Children’s Services 2019-20 Youth Art Contest Winners

Family & Children’s Services invited students in kindergarten through 12th grade to enter artwork using the theme “Family Traditions.” The contest received hundreds of entries from Tulsa and the surrounding communities from public school, homeschool and private school students. A panel of judges chose 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category, along with honorable mentions. The Best of Show went to Illia Arapov, a fourth grader in Jenks. He was featured as the “I’m a Tulsa Kid” this month, so find his interview here. Below are the winners in each age category, along with their statements.

BEST OF SHOW: Illia Arapov: Jenks Northwest Elementary School, teacher Rudi James


1st Place: Alexia Garcia: Northwoods Fine Arts Academy; first grade, teacher Jennifer Barretto

Alexia’s art features her and her family going to Florida every spring to visit family and friends. While on vacation, they spend time in Key West with her dad’s aunt, Marina G. Wood. Alexia included in her art Key West’s amazing sunsets. Spending time with all the family is something the whole family looks forward to every year. They don’t have family in Oklahoma.

This art was made using oil pastels and paint. Alexia loves to paint and spends time with her sister looking up videos on YouTube on how to draw different animals and holiday scenes and painting them afterwards. For the last two years, Alexis has been a cheerleader for Eclipse Cheer Empire in Sapulpa. She is a very determined little girl and never gives up. When she can’t do something, she tries and tries again and again until she gets it.

Other winners in this category:

  • 2nd Place: Gordon Bryan, 1st Grade, Homeschool
  • 3rd Place: Briar Miller, 1st Grade, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy
  • Honorable Mentions: Itzel Armendariz, kindergarten, Patrick Henry; Julie Capps, first grade, Patrick Henry; Carsen Fleetwood, kindergarten, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy; Roxy Gonzales, first grade, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy


1st Place: Alyssa Xiang: Union Anderson Elementary, third grade, teacher Heidi Contreras

Alyssa Xiang is growing up in a family rich with Chinese traditions as her parents are originally from China. Alyssa said, “Mom and Dad told me that Chinese New Year is China’s most important festival and holiday time. It is full of celebrations, people set off firecrackers at midnight, have family reunion dinner, watch colorful lanterns, watch dragon dances etc. I also watch a live Chinese TV show on Chinese New Year Eve every year to learn more about the customs and traditions.”

Alyssa has never visited China during Chinese New Year period, so she wanted to create her art all about the Chinese New Year saying, “Chinese is Good!” Alyssa said, “In this poster Mom, Dad and I are performing the Dragon Dance. Mom also holds a red fire lantern. The dragon represents prosperity, good luck and good fortune. In the background a lot of people are also celebrating with torches, fireworks and lanterns and watching the parade.” Alyssa used markers, acrylic paint and a paint marker.

Other winners in this category:

  • 2nd Place: Callie Turner, third grade, St. Mary
  • 3rd Place: Declah Buckner, second grade, Homeschool
  • Honorable Mentions: Ryann Brown, third grade, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy; Izzy Henry, second grade, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy; Sabrina Horton, third grade, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy; Bella Huynh, third grade, Union Anderson Elementary


1st Place: Anya McDaniel: Jenks East Intermediate, fifth grade, teacher Heidi Contreras

Anya’s family has several traditions. Half of her family on her mom’s side is from China. Every three years they visit them, as represented by the dragon in her art. Every summer her family also goes on a road trip. The road and van represent that tradition. All the postcards represent places visited. The Christmas tree represents her tradition surrounding Christmas when as a family, they celebrate and give gifts to each other. Anya used Prismacolor, a uniball pin, and a pencil.

Other winners in this category:

  • 2nd Place: Karime Amaya, 5th Grade, Lewis and Clark Elementary
  • 3rd Place: Adrian Gonzalez, 4th Grade, Mitchell Elementary
  • Honorable Mentions: Jackelin Benitez Gonzalez, fifth grade, Marshall T. Moore Elementary; Andrea Flores, fifth grade, Saints Peter and Paul; Jennifer Ngo, fifth grade, Jarman Elementary; Abbie Vogt, fourth grade, Lake Country Christian School


1st Place: Emma Bowden; Lake Country Christian School, eighth grade, teacher Pam DePetris

Emma’s family likes to take pictures of everything they do. They especially love to travel, watch movies, and swim. Emma’s favorite place she traveled with friends was Destin, Florida. Her family also has a lot of movie nights, a tradition carried down from her dad’s family. Recently, Emma’s family got a pool, so they spent most of their summer outside swimming. Emma said, “I have learned to be an artist because of my art teacher, Mrs. DePetris. I’ve been her student since kindergarten, and she has taught me to use many different media. She has also encouraged me to enter many art contests, including this one. I am grateful to be her student.” Emma used Prismacolor.

Other winners in this category:

  • 2nd Place: Wyatt Wooden, 8th grade, Rejoice Christian School
  • 3rd Place: Yedid Nefesh Max, 6th grade, Cooper Elementary
  • Honorable Mentions: Ava Coulter, seventh grade, Rejoice Christian School; Asucena Pozos, sixth grade, Mitchell Elementary; Sophie Roberts, eighth grade, Rejoice Christian School


1st Place: CamHang Tsan, Union High School, 10th grade, teacher Rodney Cheug

CamHang Tsan used to live in a small country town in Vietnam, where agriculture was significant. Her family were farmers and would plant corn, black beans, coffee bean, and fruits. They also raised backyard chickens for eggs. Because there was so much work, every family member shared the load. Adults took care of the fields and the children helped feed the chickens, collect eggs and did chores around the house. The work was harsh, but they would get it done as a family – cherishing their time together and taking pride in their work.

CamHang said, “I always find myself interested in art, but I did not have much of a chance to learn and explore it back then in Vietnam because of the hard life. Now that I am in America, I hope things will change. This is the very first contest that I have ever participated, and I am very happy that I made the first place. This contest really gives me an opportunity to prove myself. I wish there will be more contests like this so I can learn new things, sharpen my skills and fulfill my dream as becoming a professional artist.”

Today, most of CamHang’s family lives in the United States. The farming in Vietnam was given to CamHang’s big brother, Long, and his family so that they can carry on the family tradition.

This painting is both watercolor and acrylic.

Other winners in this category:

  • 2nd Place: Annelise Eggen-McElmurry, 10th grade, Riverfield Country Day School
  • 3rd Place: Dianna Bautista, 12th grade, Union High School
  • Honorable Mentions: Yasmine Enge, 11th grade, Union High School; Valentine Moraes, 12th grade, Union High School; Jennifer Nguyen, 11th grade, Union High School; Savanna Rogers, 10th grade, Union High School; Marbeth Vazquez, 10th grade, Union High School

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