The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ School Art Auction took place Sunday, March 10, in the NRG Arena. Loyal donors gathered to give back and support the next generation of Texas artists.  

2024 School Art Champions with Auction Sales: 

  • GrandEliza Hoffman, Clear Creek ISD, $275,000 
    • Warriors of the Great Spirit 
  • ReserveSion Joo, Pearland ISD, $200,000 
    • Constant Companion 

Donor Information: 

  • GrandEliza Hoffman 
    • J Alan Kent Development – Julie & Alan Kent 
    • Kristina & Paul Somerville 
    • Shelly, Jerome, Allie, Abbie & Cameron Mulanax 
    • Bob Van Matre  
  • Reserve – Sion Joo
    • Cheryl & Gary Deitcher
    • Terry & Dr. Joe Agris

Eliza Hoffman from Clear Creek ISD took home the 2024 School Art Grand Champion title with her painting, “Warriors of the Great Spirit.”  

Hoffman’s portrait featured two members of the Lakota tribe. The Lakota tribe is one of the oldest and largest Native American tribes in the Midwest.  

After winning the 2023 School Art Reserve Grand Champion with her painting of a Cherokee woman named Morning Dove, the 18-year-old said she wanted to see how she could improve on her painting skills for this year’s competition.  

“It’s so hard to go from [second to first place], so I just wanted to focus on how I could individually focus on the painting,” Hoffman said.  

When asked why she chose to paint portraits of Native American models, she said it intrigued her to tell a story from a different perspective of Western American culture.  

“It’s common for people to think about the cowboys and the horses,” Hoffman said, emphasizing that her inspiration came from the prominent impact Native Americans have on Western culture. “They are the foundation of all of U.S. history.”  

Hoffman added that she wanted to focus on how she can learn about a culture while also painting a piece. “A lot of it was being inspired by getting to learn about the Lakota culture…like the beadwork on their shirts, the necklaces, the feathers that they’re wearing. Just being able to execute it and tell a story about the Native American culture to the audience, it was a great honor,” she said. 

 “Warriors of the Great Spirit” sold for $275,000. “We’ve been doing this since, I believe 2003. We love it, and I don’t know what we would do without it,” donor Shelly Mulanax said. “It’s an amazing organization. Rodeo in general, and what we do for the community to help these kids get into college is just phenomenal. Just keep winning with your art. Art is hidden in the world, as some people would say, so just go for it.”   

Sion Joo, the 2024 School Art Reserve Grand Champion, painted a portrait of a farrier and dog, called “Constant Companion.” The Australian Shepherd dog in the painting attended the auction as well. Joo, who did not know the dog would be attending, said, “He is so cute.” 

The 16-year-old artist also earned Reserve Class Champion for a 3D Class sculpture called “Bull’s Eye.” Joo was inspired to begin participating in art competitions because of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo School Art Contest. “I finally recognize there are people who respect my work and support me, so I’ll definitely continue my art in my career.” 

“Working with these kids, so many of them are so shy, and this brings out their personality,” said donor Terry Agris. “We do this because we love the kids. Guaranteeing a better life for young people who are focused on their future, if we can contribute anything to that, it’s a good thing. 

About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo  

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage, and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $600 million to the youth of Texas and education. The 2024 Rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 27 – March 17. The 2024 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings, is scheduled for Feb. 22 – 24. For more information, visit and follow @RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.