Young artist wins international competition

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

A Portales boy has taken third place in an international art competition.

Nolan Riggin, 9, won the placing in the 6- to 9-year-old age division of the 2010 International Aviation Art Contest.

Nolan, son of Ronda Hutcherson and Caid Riggin, said he learned of the award late last month.

Nolan will receive a medal and certificate. He, his parents and possibly his grandfather, Jon Birdsong, hope to attend the awards ceremony in October in Dublin, Ireland.

Nolan advanced to the international contest after winning at the state and national levels. In his age division, the three U.S. national winners took the top three places in the international contest.

“I was just shocked,” he said of his latest showing.

The young artist attributed his win to the many colors in his picture of an experimental solar plane flying under the sun and over the desert.

The contest’s theme this year was “Flying With the Sun.”

Birdsong, a professional artist, said he worked with Nolan but didn’t do the piece for him. He said he was surprised at how much talent Nolan has shown.

“The quality of the work probably sold it more than anything else, but the use of the theme really hit the nail on the head,” Birdsong said.

The “funky sun” at the top of the picture was a nice design element, he said.

Nolan said it took a lot of effort to get the mountains in the background looking the way he wanted. He plans to compete in the contest again next year.

Anissa Lucero of Portales also competed in the international competition but didn’t place.