Fort Worth Report

‘Western art is a big deal:’ Reserve grand champion crafts art through Cowboy Artists of America workshop

Western landscapes and frogs — two subjects a dedicated 15-year-old painter enjoys working on the most. The reserve grand champion of the 2023 Fort Worth Stock Show Art Contest, Jessa Clements from Gonzalez, began painting two years ago. Now, she is the recipient of an $8,000 scholarship for her work.

A painting of a donkey won 15-year-old Jessa Clements the reserve grand champion placement in the 2023 Fort Worth Stock Show Art Contest. Clements said she loves to draw Western imagery. (Contributed photo by Jesse Clements)

“Western art is a big deal. I also like to paint frogs. I think they’re cute,” Clements said.

Clements participated in an art workshop, facilitated by the Cowboy Artists of America and Imagination Fort Worth, alongside 54 other high school-aged artists on Jan. 23 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave.

The art workshop offered stations for drawing, sculpting with clay and painting, all with live animal subjects.

“This event has helped me draw from life better,” Clements said. “The sculpting was definitely different.”

The event aimed to give the students “a little bit of education” and a good foundation for the fundamentals, said Teal Blake, the president of the Joe Beeler Foundation, the head of the educational side of the Cowboy Artists of America. Blake, a watercolor artist, started art professionally in 2008, he said. Now, he enjoys helping at workshops like the one hosted for 10 high schools at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

“They don’t get to be in the dirt and paint horses or cattle, and it’s kind of neat for them to get out of their bubble, too,” Blake said.

The event received a positive response from participating students, teachers and parents, Blake said. 

Clements, who is homeschooled by her mother, Sarah Clements, enjoyed the educational opportunity, but art is already a solid part of her homeschooling curriculum, her mother said.

“Mondays are her art days, and we go to a studio, and it’s a full day of art,” Sarah Clements said. “I think some art teachers are very committed to passing on art education. It depends on the exposure from that level, too, because if you have an excited teacher, it kind of translates into excitement for the students.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Original story from here >

A high school student uses a photo on her phone for reference while drawing at an art workshop, facilitated by the Cowboy Artists of America and Imagination Fort Worth
High school students draw a horse at an art workshop
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