By Nathaly Cruz
The 22nd VIA Metropolitan Transit Youth Art Contest is open for submissions and this year’s theme is “Explore… Plan your next adventure on the VIA.”
During a recent event, President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt invited all students in grades pre-K through 12 to participate. The deadline for submission is April 14.
Each grade level will have a first and second place winner, and there will be one “Best of Show” regardless of the grade level. All the winners will receive cash prizes, and the winning artwork will be displayed at various locations. The “Best of Show” artwork will be featured on the exterior of two VIA buses.
Tammy Nguyen, a junior at Roosevelt High School, has been the winner for the past two years.
“We wrapped two buses with art of the winner, and we rotate them through the system. But this year, we have installed the artwork in the roof of a next gen shelter in this [VIA] location (Thousand Oaks and Perrin Beitel Road) so people can look up and look at that artwork,” said Arndt.
This opportunity for Nguyen has been surreal. When asked about what inspired her artwork she said, “I know it has to have a bus in it and lots of colors, of course. I always try to use my favorite mediums and try to be original by maybe adding some roads and adding San Antonio landscapes to represent our home.”
Nguyen plans on entering again this year, but she encourages other students to enter VIA’s Youth Art Contest as well. She tells them, “Use the bus, and try to use vibrant colors as much as you can and have fun with it. Take the theme and just come up with a bunch of sketches and ideas. It will come to you. Don’t be afraid to try new stuff, get out of your comfort zone, and try new mediums, new subjects and topics, and just practice it.”
District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher also encourages all the students from District 10 to participate and expressed how proud he is of Nguyen.
“We are very proud that this work of art was put into the District here in the Northeast Side of town, and we encourage all of the people to use the VIA bus, to get off and take a look at this wonderful work of art. I think it is very nice whenever an artist of any age can get their work out to the public, and so I would encourage them all to please look into it.”
Students can use any medium on an official poster board (11¨high x 17” wide), which are free and can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday- Friday, at VIA’s administration building, 800 W. Myrtle St., or at the VIA Metro Centro, 1021 San Pedro Ave.
Artwork entries can also be mailed or dropped off at VIA’s administration building. For more information on the Youth Art Contest, visit www.VIAinfo.net or call Jerri Ann Jones at 210-362-2381.