Youth, art, and aviation converge every February at Embry-Riddle Prescott when student art submissions arrive for judging in the annual International Aviation Art Contest sponsored by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) for youth ages 6 to 17.
This first phase of competition awards first, second, and third places to each age group for each state of the United States that participates. Thanks to Ray Johnson, long-time member of Prescott’s Board of Visitors, Embry-Riddle is the defacto judging body in cases where individual states are not able to manage their own program.
“I used to be the NAA, Aerospace Education Chair/FAI Delegate and helped start the art contest years ago,” said Johnson. “I’ve lived in Prescott for 22 years and through a friendship became connected to Embry-Riddle. Now we come together every year to judge the art. This is a great way to get youth interested in aviation.”
This year’s theme “Air Sports In Harmony With Nature” produced a variety of images for Embry-Riddle judges — from parachuting pigs to skydivers floating above aspen trees. Separated by three age categories, the winners will move to the national competition in Washington, D.C., sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and managed by the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). Winners from the national competition will move to the final judging at the international level in April at FAI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"Over the years we have had many national and international winners who were first selected as state winners by our own judges. There are some incredibly talented young people with a love of aviation,” said Kathy Hill, Hazy Library and Learning Center Administrative Assistant and team lead of the art contest project.
Hazy Library also serves as the digital and physical repository for all international winners. Additionally, the Library and several buildings on campus display a sampling of the winners over the years.
"This is a great way for Embry-Riddle to engage with youth and help inspire them to pursue their aviation dreams,” said Steve Bobinsky, judge and Director of Development. “And for me, it’s always inspiring to see the talent, imagination, and creativity of those who participate.”
Additional contest sponsors include the Federal Aviation Administration, National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education, National Aeronautic Association, and Ken Cook Co.
To inquire about the Prescott Campus, call us at 928-777-6600 or 800-888-3728, or email Prescott@erau.edu.