We are proud to present the Department (state) winners of the 2020-2021 VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest.

The annual contest began in 1979 and recognizes up-and-coming artists and encourages patriotism in youth. More than 2,500 students submitted entries and a total of $31,500 in national scholarships was awarded to 10 students in 2021.

Learn more about the contest and view all the previous first-place national winners.

Department of Alabama
“My Heroic Friend”
Medium: Oil Paint
Artist: Icie Wallace
11th Grade
Homeschooled
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 4758
Pell City, Alabama

Department of Arizona
Untitled
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Artist: Laura Wang
9th Grade
Desert Mountain High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 1763
Yuma, Arizona

Department of Arkansas
“Sacrifice”
Medium: Pencil
Artist: Reagan Buckley
12th Grade
Mountain Home High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 4766
Mountain View, Arkansas

Department of California
“United at Heart”
Medium: Graphite Pencil, Colored Pencil and Acrylic Paint
Artist: Jennifer DeLeon
12th Grade
Palm Desert High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 3699
Indio, California

Department of Colorado
“Never Forget”
Medium: Watercolor
Artist: Jocelyn Heer
11th Grade
Lewis Palmer High Shool
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 4051
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Department of Connecticut
“What is Patriotism”
Medium: Colored Pencil, Marker and Graphite Pencil
Artist: Lauren Doucet
12th Grade
Wolcott High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 1979
Wolcott, Connecticut

Department of Delaware
“Eleutheromania”
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Artist: Ella Taylor
10th Grade
Charter School of Wilmington
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 3420
Newark, Delaware

Department of Florida
“Generations of Freedom”
Medium: Colored Pencil, Watercolor, White Charcoal and Graphite
Artist: Kaitlyn James
12th Grade
Scientia Homeschool Academy
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 3227
St. Cloud, Florida

Department of Georgia
“Portrait of a Centenarian”
Medium: Colored Pencil
Artist: Adebola Adewale
11th Grade
Douglas County High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 7402
Buchanan, Georgia

Department of Idaho
Untitled
Medium: Colored Pencil and Watercolor
Artist: Trinity Kyser
11th Grade
Post Falls High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 3603
Post Falls, Idaho

Department of Illinois
“The Struggles of Freedom”
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Artist: Chloe Gruszeczka
12th Grade
Kewanee High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 8078
Kawanee, Illinois

Department of Indiana
“Bleed Red, White and Blue”
Medium: Charcoal and Colored Pencil
Artist: Jada Lane
10th Grade
Danville Community High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 1587
Indianapolis, Indiana

Department of Iowa
Untitled
Medium: Pencil
Artist: Abigail Lefeber
12th Grade
Harlan Community High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 941
Harlan, Iowa

Department of Kansas
Untitled
No. 2/Hard Black (HB) Pencil
Artist: Athena Armstrong
11th Grade
Brewster High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 6882
Colby, Kansas

Department of Kentucky
Untitled
Medium: Pencil
Artist: Aaron Muth
12th Grade
Covington Catholic High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 6423
Elsmere, Kentucky

Department of Louisiana
“Caught My Eye”
Medium: Colored Pencil and Marker
Artist: Taylor Boulas
12th Grade
Red River High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 7287
Coushatta, Louisiana

Department of Maine
“Justice for All”
Medium: Embroidery
Artist: Olivia Royal
12th Grade
Nokomis Regional High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 4298
Dexter, Maine

Department of Maryland
“Farewell Grant”
Medium: Colored Pencil
Artist: Sarah Starkey
11th Grade
Catoctin High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 6658
Emmitsburg, Maryland

Department of Massachusetts
“Untitled”
Medium: Colored Pencil
Artist: Jesse Ding
12th Grade
Wilmington High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 8164
Tewksbury, Massachusetts

Department of Michigan
“Two Sides of a Female Soldier”
Medium: Watercolor and Colored Pencil
Artist: Shreya Balla
11th Grade
Plymouth High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 9885
Westland, Michigan

Department of Minnesota
“Weeping Reunions”
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Artist: Audryona Johnston
12th Grade West High School
Sponosred by VFW Auxiliary 950
Mankato, Minnesota

Department of Mississippi
Untitled
Medium: Graphite and Charcoal Pencil
Artist: Taylor Garrison
11th Grade
Newton County Academy
Sponosred by VFW Auxiliary 12124
Meridian, Mississippi

Department of Missouri
“Saluting and Remembering”
Medium: Pencil
Artist: Audrey Barry
10th Grade
Central R3 Schools
Sponosred by VFW Auxiliary 5741
Leadington, Missouri

Department of Montana
“Faceless Sacrifice”
Medium: Oil Paint
Artist: Isabel Legan
12th Grade
C. M. Russell High School
Sponosred by VFW Auxiliary 1087
Great Falls, Montana

Department of Nebraska
“Immigrants View of a New World”
Medium: Charcoal
Artist: Braden Adams
12th Grade
Seward High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 4755
Seward, Nebraska

Department of Nevada
“Military Brat”
Medium: Graphite Pencil
Artist: Taylor Cross
11th Grade
Northwest Career and Technical Academy
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 12101
Las Vegas, Nevada

Department of New Jersey
Untitled
Medium: Pencil
Artist: Anthony Venturi
12th Grade
Shawnee High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 7677
Medford, New Jersey

Department of New Mexico
“Freedom is Not Free”
Medium: Graphite
Artist: Heather Wheeler
12th Grade
San Juan College High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 614
Aztec, New Mexico

Department of New York
Untitled
Medium: Spray Paint
Artist: Jordan Costa
12th Grade
Tri-Valley Central School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 4947
Wurtsboro, New York

Department of North Carolina
Untitled
Medium: Oil Paint
Artist: Lauren Coursey
12th Grade
Topsail High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 9983
Holly Ridge, North Carolina

Department of North Dakota
Untitled
Medium: Charcoal Pencils
Artist: Miranda Zeien
12th Grade
West Fargo Sheyenne High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 7564
West Fargo, North Dakota

Department of Ohio
Untitled
Medium: Chalk Pastel and Charcoal
Artist: Alaina Fitch
12th Grade
Western Reserve High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 892
Salem, Ohio

Department of Oklahoma
Untitled
Medium: Pencil and Charcoal
Artist: Gabrielle Bell
12th Grade
Eufaula High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 8798
Eufaula, Oklahoma

Department of Oregon
“Defending Our Dreams”
Medium: Colored Pencil and Pencil
Artist: Madeline Rose Bowler
12th Grade
East Linn Christian Academy
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 584
Albany, Oregon

Department of Pennsylvania
Untitled
Medium: Mixed Media
Artist: Nora Logue
12th Grade
Hickory High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 6166
Hermitage, Pennsylvania

Department of South Carolina
Untitled
Medium: Paper
Artist: Brianna Margioni
9th Grade
Oceanside Collegiate Academy
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 10624
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Department of South Dakota
Untitled
Medium: White Pencil
Artist: Kaeley Dixon
11th Grade Brookings High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 2118
Brookings, South Dakota

Department of Tennessee
Untitled
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Artist: Annie Le
11th Grade
Pope John Paul II High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 9851
Hendersonville, Tennessee

Department of Texas
Untitled
Medium: Colored Pencil, Markers and Ink Pen
Artist: Caitlyn Shepard
9th Grade
Marion Independent School District
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 9213
McQueeney, Texas

Department of Vermont
Untitled
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Artist: Rebecca Young-Allen
10th Grade
Lyndon Institute
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 10038
Lyndonville, Vermont

Department of Virginia
Untitled
Medium: Colored Pencil
Artist: Olivia Pennington
12th Grade
Grayson County High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 7726
Independence, Virginia

Department of Washington
Untitled
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Artist: Celine Min
11th Grade
Forest Ridge School of The Sacred Heart
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 2995
Bellevue, Washington

Department of West Virginia
“Forgotten Hero”
Medium: Tea Stain, Pencil and Burned Paper
Artist: Mykiella Stevens
11th Grade
Fairmont Senior High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 7048
Fairmont, West Virginia

Department of Wisconsin
“I Remember”
Medium: Graphite and Colored Paper
Artist: Katelyn Doehrmann
9th Grade
New Richmond High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 10818
New Richmond, Wisconsin

Department of Wyoming
“Honor and Valor for Sacrifice”
Medium: Pencil, Oil Paint, Permanent Marker and Graphite
Artist: Karson Brennan
10th Grade
Cody High School
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 2673
Cody, Wyoming