Houston/ Arts & Culture
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Published on March 11, 2024
Houston Teen Artists Set Auction Records at Rodeo Art Event, Garnering $475,000 for ScholarshipsSource: Facebook/RODEOHOUSTON

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art auction proved to be a lucrative affair for two young Texas artists. Lamar CISD's Mia Huckman, 18, snagged the Grand Champion title with her painting "Our Last Roundup," fetching a cool $275,000—a hair above the former record-holder's achievement. Not to be upstaged, last year's runner-up, 17-year-old Eliza Hoffman from Clear Springs High School, commandeered the Reserve Grand Champion spot, having her work "Morning Dove" sell for an impressive $185,000, according to KTRK.

Huckman capped off her high school rodeo art career with a record-setting victory. "Winning in my last year means so much," Huckman told KTRK, having aimed to truly make her final participation count. On the other hand, the teen titan Hoffman returned to swiftly take the reserve champion reins with her poignant painting inspired by a chance meeting with her subject, which she said enabled her to quickly snap a picture that resonated with depth and narrative.

The RodeoHouston art auction isn't just a display of young talent; it's also an integral contributor to the future of the participating students. The annual art program is a key fundraiser for scholarships, and this year's top two artworks alone have corralled an eye-watering $475,000, detailed in a report by Houston Chronicle.

Hoffman's stirring piece "Morning Dove" seems to have not only captured the essence of her subject but also the hearts of the bidders, with the painting being sold to a supportive crowd comprised of J. Alan Kent Development, Kristina and Paul Somerville, the Mulanax family, and Bob Van Matre. "It's so hard to go from (second to first place), so I just wanted to focus on how I could individually focus on the painting," Hoffman said in a statement obtained by the Houston Chronicle.

Art enthusiasts and patrons like Terry and Joe Agris, and Cheryl and Gary Deitcher, who purchased the reserve grand champion work, know full well that supporting this event is akin to generously investing in the artists' future. "We do this because we love the kids," donor Terry Agris shared with the Chronicle.