McAllen ISD visual arts students take top spots in 2nd annual RGV contest

McAllen ISD students, Asya Hinojosa of Cathey Middle School and Pedro Saenz of McAllen Memorial High, both earned first place in their divisions in the 2nd annual Rio Grande Valley Visual Arts Contest, held virtually on January 23.

This was the second straight year for Hinojosa to win the Middle School Division. In fact, a McAllen ISD student has now won both the Middle School and High School Divisions two consecutive years.

Four of the 12 available places went to McAllen ISD students. Other students who placed included Isabella Slowinski of Fossum Middle School (3rd in Middle School Division) and Amani Nguma (4th in Middle School Div.).    

The event required students to complete a brand new work of art based on a still life and a prompt with a three-hour time limit. The prompt this year was “Dreamy.”  

Students from nine different school districts competed. Each school district had their own local contest to qualify up to five middle school and five high school students for this regional event. McAllen ISD held its qualifying event, The Creative Mind Art Challenge, on January 16.   

McAllen ISD students that competed include: 

Middle School

  • Asya Hinojosa, Cathey Middle School, 8th grade, 1st in Regional.
  • Isabella Slowinski, Fossum Middle School, 8th grade, 3rd in Regional.
  • Amani Nguma, Cathey MS, 8th grade, 4th in Regional.  
  • Adrian Villegas, De Leon Middle School, 7th grade. 
  • Gabriel Martinez, Morris Middle School, 7th grade. 

High School

  • Pedro Saenz, McAllen Memorial High, freshman, 1st in Regional.
  • Deyanira Rodriguez, Lamar Academy, senior.
  • Rong Hua Wang, Lamar Academy, senior.  
  • Samantha Garcia, McAllen High, senior.  
  • Leslie Gaby Markle, Lamar Academy, junior.   

The McAllen ISD Visual Arts Teachers of these students include Travis Dillard (Cathey MS), Gloria Garza (Fossum MS), Alfredo Gonzalez (De Leon MS), Dante Mata (Morris MS), Veronica Martinez (Memorial High), Xavier Perez (Lamar Academy) and Lee Roy Garza (McAllen High).   

 “Congratulations to all of these very talented art students and their hard-working teachers,” McAllen ISD Fine Arts Director Jim Egger said. “A big thanks goes to Lisa Saenz-Saldivar, the McAllen ISD Lead Visual Arts Coach, for organizing and running both contests. We are extremely proud of our Visual Arts Program in McAllen ISD that is second to none.” 

Here is a link to the student artwork: