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Students soar in state aviation art contest

ana anthony/daily globe Antonio Madrigal and Cynthia Avila are shown with digital images of their art submissions.

WORTHINGTON -- Worthington High School art teacher Gail Holinka is extremely pleased with the results of the Minnesota Aviation Art Contest. Two of her students submitted work for the contest, and they placed among the top four in the state.

High school seniors Cynthia Avila and Antonio Madrigal earned second and fourth places respectively for this year's contest, themed "Silent Flight."

Both Avila's and Madrigral's works feature hot air balloons -- the highlight of the contest theme.

"I only found out about the contest days before we had to mail it out," said Avila, who had taken a painting class last year with Holinka. "I wasn't sure I would get anything."

She explained how she began with several sketches and finally decided on one that depicts a hot air balloon gliding across an open road. Using acrylic paint, she detailed the three-day process.

"I usually start with the base color -- so for this I used blue and green," she said. "I really like intense colors, so that's why mine is so bright."

Fourth-place winner Madrigal used watercolor for his work.

"I took painting classes in Mexico," Madrigal said, adding he had done a lot of oil paintings in the past. "This is my first contest and my first win."

In his artist statement, Madrigal wrote: "The push of color to extremes, and the use of lines to imply motion helps me show what I feel about a scene or abstract idea."

The pair will be honored for their accomplishments next month at the state Capitol. Their awards will include a discovery flight from the Worthington Municipal Airport and a gift certificate for art supplies.

"Antonio is a very meticulous and talented student," Holinka stressed, noting how symmetrical his art work is.

"That's why I'm trying to get him to go to college. He's going to do some college visits with the collaborative in March."

Contest entries were judged based on three age categories; 6 to 9, 10 to 13, and 14 to 17.

The pair's work will be among the 12 entries that will be compiled in the 2013 MnDOT Aviation Art Calendar. The top three winners in each age category will compete in the National Aviation Art Contest.

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.