Fort Bend ISD art teacher comes full circle in helping students prepare for rodeo art contest

How does it feel to turn a piece of artwork into $155,000? Just ask Jaydan Kisinger.

"It was a big deal because you don't come across money like that every day," said Kisinger.

She was the 2021 Grand Champion of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's Art Auction - not a bad way to cap off her senior year at Fort Bend ISD's Elkins High School.

"I made this painting of my ex-teacher's dad and it's called 'Through the Years'," she said. "It's with a horse - his horse - and it's a pretty intimate photo. I just thought it was very sentimental and I wanted to capture that sentiment, that feeling, that warm, fuzzy feeling in it."

So how do you go from artist to Grand Champion? Natural talent certainly helps, but so does having an art teacher who knows what it takes to succeed at the rodeo's annual art competition.

"As a student in Fort Bend ISD I was Grand Champion in the rodeo art competition," said Elkins High art teacher Ryan Morales. "If you experience something and you know that it's possible, you need to kind of exude that onto your students and let them know that things are possible."

"Before he was my teacher, I was only doing colored pencil drawings," said Kisinger. "He told me, you know, drawings never end up in galleries, you have to start painting. And I never thought I would paint. I said, you know, I'm going to be an artist. I'm just going to be a good artist who does really good colored pencil drawings. But he showed me that I can do this thing, painting, that I never thought I would be able to do."