Winners of McDonald Observatory’s 75th Anniversary Art Contest Announced

28 April 2014

FORT DAVIS — McDonald Observatory announced the winners of its art contest for school kids in Jeff Davis, Presidio, and Brewster counties at its Open House on April 26. The contest, part the observatory’s year-long celebration of its 75th anniversary, received 127 entries in two categories (junior high-high school and elementary school). They were judged on creativity and representation of the spirit of the anniversary celebration.

Rafael Riegel won Best of Show in the junior high-high school category. Rafael is a sophomore at Fort Davis High School. He submitted a pencil drawing of the Otto Struve Telescope.

Charlotte Browning was the Best of Show winner in elementary school category. Charlotte is in kindergarten at Marfa Montessori School. She submitted a mixed-media collage featuring the Otto Struve Telescope, crayon, and pencil.

The artwork by the two Best of Show winners will be published in the July/August issue of McDonald Observatory’s StarDate magazine. All of the artworks were displayed in the visitors center gallery during the Open House.

Each category awarded three additional prizes. In the junior high-high school category, these are: First Place, Kylie Glidewell (Fort Davis High School); Second Place, Cristian Zubia (Fort Davis Junior High); and Third Place, Troy Hernandez (Fort Davis Junior High).

In the elementary category, the winners all attend Dirks-Anderson Elementary School. They are: First Place, Bowen Corbin; Second Place, Anita Bailon; and Third Place, Haden Wetzel.

McDonald Observatory would like to thank all of the judges who volunteered their expertise. They include: Wayne and Ellen Baize (Wayne Baise is a well-known western artist and a member of the Cowboy Artist Association); Cyndee Barnes (local artist and wife of McDonald Observatory Superintendent Dr. Tom Barnes); Marge Millsap (local artist and retired high school art teacher); and Lindy Cook Severns and Jim Severns (Lindy Cook Severns is a well-known landscape artist).

The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas, hosts multiple telescopes undertaking a wide range of astronomical research under the darkest night skies of any professional observatory in the continental United States. McDonald is home to the consortium-run Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET), one of the world's largest, which is now being upgraded to begin the HET Dark Energy Experiment. An internationally known leader in astronomy education and outreach, McDonald Observatory is also pioneering the next generation of astronomical research as a founding partner of the Giant Magellan Telescope.

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Best of Show, Jr. High-High School Category

Best of Show, Elementary School Category