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High School Student Wins Grand Champion at Houston Rodeo’s Annual Art Auction and Sells Masterpiece at $250k and $265K

By AHN Staff Writer

March 16, 2022

Over 3,000 pieces of student artwork from 95 public school districts and 54 private schools statewide entered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo school art auction 2022 in January and selected 739 pieces to advance to the next round.

Gracin Nguyen, a student in the Pearland Independent School District, won the Grand Champion work of art, a colored picture titled “In His Hands,” which depicts a bull rider down one a knee to pray

“For her to put her faith on display is what this is all about,” said Paul Somerville. “God bless these kids and God bless Texas.”

The 16-year-old’s masterpiece was sold for $250,000  to Randa and Ray Gilliam, Mary and Ken Hutcherson, Julie and Alan Kent, and Kristina and Paul Somerville. 

Nguyen will receive $38,000. The class champion gets $7,500, and the reserve class champion takes $6,000. All of the finalists will be auctioned off, with each student receiving at least $1,500. Each finalist is limited to a maximum of $2,500.

Anything leftover is donated to the Rodeo’s Educational Fund, which is dedicated to awarding scholarships and grants to deserving students.

Since 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo have donated more than $550 million to Texas youth and education.