Prince William County Students Make a Splash in Water Art Competition

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Provided by Prince William County Service Authority (PWCSA)

Twenty-four local high school students received awards during the Prince William County Service Authority’s 2022 Water Art Invitational on Thursday, March 10. Gabriela Molina Otaiza, a sophomore at Colgan High School, took home this year’s Grand Prize. Her submission, a realistic painting featuring a family of sea turtles, embodied the theme “Water: Our Most Precious Resource.”

“I think our most precious resource isn’t what only benefits us but what holds our planet and other organisms together,” said Molina Otaiza. “In this case, water is the protector for these turtles, seen as the mother shields her babies. They are depicted at a time of reunion where water is the vessel for connection.”

The 132 student submissions for this year’s Water Art Invitational depict the many ways in which water is an indispensable natural resource and a vital part of our daily lives. The artwork includes imagery of plants, animals, industry, recreation and more. Virtual galleries showcasing all of the artwork, as well as a recorded version of the awards ceremony, are available at

“I have been part of the Water Art Invitational for many years, and the students always rise to the challenge of using art to communicate the value of water,” said Joyce Eagles, who represents the Woodbridge District on the Service Authority Board of Directors. “This year’s artwork feature animals and plants relying on water, people walking miles to collect their drinking water and the many uses of water in industry and recreation. The students did an excellent job of drawing on their own experiences and knowledge.”

In addition to Molina Otaiza, other students received awards during this year’s Water Art Invitational:

  • Sasha Jay Coley, Ayanna Rowe and Elle Hering, all from Colgan High School, took First Place in Painting & Drawing, Computer Graphics and Photography, respectively.
  • Colgan’s Adeline Bishop and Ginny Dorjderem received Second Place in Painting & Drawing and Computer Graphics, and Amiya Johnson from C.D. Hylton High School claimed Second Place in Photography.
  • Kacey Kelly and Diana Navaz from Osbourn Park High School received Third Place in Painting & Drawing and Photography. Reese Bedinger from Battlefield High School took home Third Place in Computer Graphics.
  • Service Authority General Manager Calvin D. Farr, Jr. selected 14 students from seven high schools to receive General Manager’s Awards for their artistic technique and connection to the theme.

Winning students and their teachers receive cash prizes provided by 22 corporate sponsors, including GeoIdentity Inc., the Stewardship Sponsor, and Presenting Sponsors Micron Technology, Inc. and Ulliman Schutte Construction. Winning pieces will be framed and displayed in Service Authority facilities and featured in a Water Art wall calendar for 2023.


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