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DAF announces 2024 Art Contest winners

  • Published
  • By Debbie Aragon
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Services Center announced the winners of the 2024 Air Force Art Contest recently.

This year’s judges had the task of evaluating more than 1,500 entries in two adult and three youth categories to determine the best in the Depa.rtment of the Air Force with impact, creativity and technical expertise.

“We’re extremely excited this year because of the number of entries, over 200 more than last year, and the 3D competition has gone exceptionally well,” said Naybu Fullman, art contest program manager at the Air Force Services Center. 

Lian Kitts, a member of the AFSVC Air Force Nonappropriated Funds Procurement office, was one of this year’s judges. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion and Accessories design with a minor in Art History from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has been an artist her entire life.

While combing through this year’s entries, she was impressed with what she saw, especially considering the wide range of abilities and ages.

“Some of the pieces were so lifelike they almost looked like photographs,” she said, “and others were raw and invoked emotion. It was inspiring to see so many active-duty Airmen and Guardians with so much talent!”

She was also happy to see the skill levels of young artists.

“The younger artist entries displayed their interest in art and self-expression at such a young age which is so important,” Kitts said. “The wide range in mediums was surprising, especially the number of mixed media and 3D pieces submitted for this year’s consideration. I was excited to see pottery, leather and metal work along with unconventional media sculptures in the submissions – unexpected.”

Community programs, like the art contest, are an important part of building and supporting the resiliency of Airmen, Guardians and their families.

The annual contest allows military and civilian members, and their families to express themselves creatively which can be an outlet for many of them, Fullman said.

“Whether in remote and isolated locations, or in densely populated areas, programs like this strengthen the resiliency of our members, and foster a camaraderie amongst like-minded artists.  It also provides such a valuable incentive for installations who can showcase the talent within their communities,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing to add value to the experience of our huge military family through this contest and our 2024 Air Force Photo Contest that kicks off in the fall,” Fullman said. 

More information on the photo contest, which runs Sept. 15 – Nov. 15, will be released before the contest begins but photographers are encouraged to start planning and taking images now.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

2D art winners
Adult Accomplished: first place “Weightless” by Nicole Taggart, Hill Air Force Base, Utah; second place “Heritage” by Liberty Araas, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; and third place “Adam and Eve” by Angela Miller, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii

Adult Novice: first place “Echoes in the Night” by Donna-Marie Burr-Stitham, the Pentagon, Washington D.C.; “Return to Nature” by Amuri Morris, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado; and third place “Sea Wall Sunset” by Kate-Lynn Wile, Kadena Air Base, Japan

Youth 13-17: first place “Willow” by Morgan Becker, Hill AFB; second place “Between Life and Death” by Kira Ayn Waller, Travis AFB, Calif; and third place “Bombs Bursting in Air” by Sue-Ah Choi, Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, Fla.

Youth 9-12: first place “Autumn Table” by Grace Valpiani, Edwards AFB, Calif.; second place “To the Sky” by Serena Hendricks, Andersen AFB, Guam; and third place “2 Sides of the Day” by Aadya Ravikumar, Los Angeles AFB

Youth 6-8: first place “Bumblebee” by Aarnav Ravikumar, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.; second place “Frog” by Jolianna Rios, Travis AFB; and third place “The Loving Moose” by Sienna Beene, JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam

3D art winners
Adult Accomplished: first place “Artemis Goddess of the Hunt” by Isaiah Bettinger, Ramstein Air Base, Germany; second place “Head in the Clouds” by Jennifer Richardson, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom; and third place “Orchid Melody Scarf” by Linda Zorichak, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.

Adult Novice: first place “Heavy Metal” by Jordan Kuykendall, USAFA; second place “Druid Tree” by Heide Rice, Hill AFB; and third place “Pleasing Canine” by Angelo Gayner, Malmstrom AFB, Montana

Youth 13-17: first place “Rong” by Ella Bui, Tinker AFB, Okla.; second place “Kitchen Crime Scene” by Danica Johnson, Scott AFB, Ill.; and third place “Bloom” by Abigail Morgenstern, Hill AFB

Youth 9-12: first place “Sunset Eiffel Tower” by Lillian Stafford, Ramstein AB; second place “Crochet Gecko” by Cal Arn, Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz.; and third place “A Cat Named Wildheart” by Eliza Janzik, Holloman AFB, N.M.

Youth 6-8: first place “Camping” by Smantha Lee, Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea; second place “Marine Majesty-Turtle’s Realm” by Taryn Andreotta, Eglin AFB, Fla.; and third place “Unknown Creatures” by Russell Quinn, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland