Talented high school artists win congressional scholarships to UHCL
Three talented Houston-area high school art students who participated in this year’s 36th
Congressional District’s 2019 Art Competition received scholarships to study art at University of
Houston-Clear Lake. This year’s competition followed the theme “Southeast Texas Wildlife.” The
winning students’ art will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for an entire year. The first-place
prize, a scholarship for $5,000, was awarded Crosby High School sophomore Julian Lopez. The
second place, a scholarship for $4,000, was awarded to freshman Ciara Pratt, and the $3,000 third
prize went to sophomore Grace Hawley, both of Clear Falls High School in League City.
“I’d like to congratulate Julian Lopez and thank each of the talented students who participated,
as well as the art teachers and families that supported them throughout this process,” said U.S. Rep.
Brian Babin. “We have so many great artists in TX-36 and I’m extremely proud to show their work
to visitors from both our district and different parts of the country when we pass by the national
display in the U.S. Capitol.”
Pratt, who is taking Pre-AP Painting II at Clear Falls, titled her piece “Symbiosis.” She said that
she liked drawing realism. “I took a picture of a bee and then, with the other plant drawings in the
background, I thought that would be a good combination to submit,” she said. “I’ve always liked art
because it’s such a good way to express myself. I’d love to study art. My dream job would be
storyboarding animations, like for Cartoon Network or Disney Pixar.”
As the daughter of a graphic designer, Hawley, who is taking an AP 2-D Design class at Clear
Falls, said she’d grown up being taught lessons in art. “I think I just have art inside me,” she said.
“The title of my piece is ‘A Stroll Down Southeast Texas,’ and I drew the wildlife that I always see
around, like seagulls and deer. I drew the most common Southeast Texas animals that I always see
around.” She added that UHCL was one of the top colleges she was considering, and that she would
like to pursue art as a career.
Nina Makepeace, who is both girls’ art teacher at Clear Falls, said that she’d never entered any of
her students before. “I just asked the kids if they were interested in participating, and three of them
entered. Two of them ended up placing,” she said. “They were really excited but we had no
expectations. We were all so happy when we were told we’d placed. It was a very exciting day for
Makepeace added that Hawley had won a gold medal in art this year, and that both girls had
made it to the State UIL Competition. “Ninety percent of kids don’t make it to state competition,
and they both went and did very well,” she said.
This year’s Congressional Art Competition included over 50 entries from high school art
students all over the 36th District.