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‘National models for aviation and the arts’: Two young Virginia artists qualify in global contest

Courtesy of Virginia Department of Aviation.

Two Virginia students were selected to represent the nation in the International Aviation Art Contest sponsored by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

Young Commonwealth artists also qualified for the global event last year.

Eric Shen and Iris Xie, both from Vienna, were among nine winners selected by the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) in the state-level competition. Their art was among 150 pieces sent on to the national contest in Washington, DC. They will now go on to compete against artwork from around the world in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Greg Campbell, director of the DOAV, was thrilled over the announcement of the Virginia winners.

“For the second year in a row, the Commonwealth’s students are national models for aviation and the arts. Nothing expresses ‘Virginia is for Aviation Lovers’ better than our next generation representing our country on the international stage. The Department of Aviation could not be prouder of them, and we wish them the very best.”

This year’s theme was “Air Sports for a Peaceful World,” and students were allowed to depict the subject matter with minimal conditions on their artistic vision. Judges from the DOAV selected the winners based on color, composition, originality and relation to the theme.

Selected for their experience in aviation, art, design and media, the judges weighed the art pieces based on a blind numbering system for the most objective scoring possible. The artwork submitted was so exceptional that several students were also selected for “honorable mention” awards.

Students who missed out on this year’s aviation art contest can prepare to enter the annual competition next year. Check in periodically for 2025’s theme when it is announced by the Virginia Department of Aviation.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.