Dave Rogers – For The Record

Bridge City junior Malayna Motomura jokes that it’s only natural she became an artist.
“Both of my parents are coaches, but I’ve never been athletic,” she said. “I have always been an art kid.”
Motomura says she began with coloring books at a young age.
“I remember when I was 5 or 6, I said, ‘I want to be able to make art.’ It’s always been my favorite thing.”
The art world is beginning to appreciate Malayna as much as she does it. For the second year in a row, her entry at the Houston Livestock & Rodeo Art Show won a “Best of Show” award.
The work, an acrylic painting showing a rooster standing proudly in the back of a farm truck, was exhibited throughout the rodeo’s run in the event’s Hayloft Gallery.
Bridge City classmates Hannah Huff, Eliska Suchardova and Jordan Janis shared that honor.
But Motomura stood out by being one of the rare few students whose artwork was chosen to be auctioned to the public.
“In January, all of my students in Art 2, 3 and 4 submitted their work to the rodeo contest,” explains Debbie Gregg, Bridge City’s art teacher.
“I took 70 pieces and four were selected for the Hayloft Gallery.”
Not bad when you consider there are thousands and thousands of entries in the competition.
“There were over 600 pieces selected [for the Hayloft Gallery] and they select the top 50 to go to auction,” Gregg said.
The auction held in mid-March was something new for Motomura.
“It was really nerve-wracking,” she said. “You have to hold your art and walk back and forth [among the bidders]. Because I’d never done it, I had some stage fright,” she said.
“But it was really neat.”
Her farm scene sold for $25,000, though auction rules meant only about $2,500 of that went to her.
The majority of the auction proceeds, Gregg explained, go to college scholarships awarded to high school seniors.
Motomura will be eligible for one of those next year.
While $25,000 seems like a lot of money to most people, the Houston Livestock Show is known for some big-money auctions and it’s not just livestock getting high bids.
The No. 1 and No. 2 winners in the art contest auctioned for $125,000 each.
“They broke world records,” Motomura said.
“It was pretty cool. You don’t make a lot of money in gallery art, because you only sell something about every six months. But it was really cool for being so young.”
Another highlight was meeting art students from around the state.
“It’s really neat to talk to the other kids,” Motomura said. “It’s a big networking event. One of the kids at the auction, I had gone to camp with last summer at Schreiner University.”
Schreiner University in Kerrville offers scholarships to its summer art camp to winners in the Rodeo art competition.
Motomura was one of three Bridge City students to attend the camp last summer.
She has bigger plans for the break between her junior and senior year of high school.
She has applied and been accepted for the summer program at the Pratt Institute Pre-College Program in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I’m really looking to learn a lot at this summer camp,” Motomura said. “I want to go into some new age art, advertising, along those lines.”