Striking art by 2 Clear Creek ISD teenagers to be auctioned HLS&R


Two Clear Creek ISD seniors rose from a field of more than 37,000 entries to the March 13 Winners’ Auction as part of the annual Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo School Art Program.

“Transcendental,” a drawing of a longhorn by 18-year-old Cara Vajdos, won Best Show at Clear Creek ISD and will be auctioned in Lot #52.

The daughter of Seabrook’s Greg and Jen Vajdos is a student at Clear Falls High School in League City. She drew the longhorn from a photograph taken by her classmate Jennifer Merrill at the Merrill family ranch in Liberty Hills.

In Lot No. 70, “Goat Family”, an acrylic painting of 17-year-old Zoe Baccaro, whose parents are Chris and Jamie Baccaro of League City.

The Clear Springs High student was inspired by a photograph his art teacher, Laura Albritton, took on a farm in Manvel.

Cara Vajdos

“My dad takes me to the rodeo every year; we are country music fans,” said Cara Vajdos, who has participated in the HLS&R art competition every year since she started taking art classes in school in sixth grade.

However, this is her first time at the auction, where she is guaranteed to win $1,000 and could win up to $2,500.

“I plan to put him through college,” Vajdos said. “I hope to become an art teacher.”

“She will be fantastic,” said her art teacher, Nina Makepeace. “She’s very caring and kind, and she gives constructive advice.”

Makepeace wasn’t surprised that “Transcendental” got a yeehaw from the judges at every level of this year’s student rodeo art competition.

“I knew it was very special. There’s a nice feeling to it,” she said.

Vajdos created the artwork with colored pencils, then outlined the piece with a white gel pen.

“I titled it ‘Transcendental’ because it sounds mystical and magical and princely, almost,” she said.

Zoe Baccaro

Last year, Zoe Baccaro presented her painting of a cowboy on horseback and won a gold medal at the district level.

“This year I was trying to find a horse to paint, but I was really excited when I saw the goat family, especially how the one in the middle stood out,” she said.

“I take way too many photos,” Albritton said with a laugh. “I put everything out there so students have a lot of choice; I don’t even crop them because I want to see their own artistic visions.

Baccaro was in second grade when she started studying art in school.

After two years of drawing and painting, she added sculpture to her repertoire and became interested in art history.

“I plan to study art and art history at the University of Houston,” she said.

Nine Clear Creek ISD students qualified for the Rodeo Grand Prix judging round, where 72 plays were chosen from entries of thousands of students from 95 public school districts and 54 private schools.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be contacted at [email protected]


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