Move over March Madness. There’s another national competition going on, and LHHS senior Marria Nakhoda is up for the challenge. Her artwork is one of only two pieces from RISD chosen to advance from the Texas State PTA Reflections art contest to the national level.

Marria’s work, “Body of Dance” shown here, was one of 85 entries sent to state from RISD. Loyal readers will find Marria’s name sounds familiar. We featured her in September when she founded The Art Project with friend, Callie Herod, to benefit refugees. The project collects donated art to sell on ebay, with proceeds going to refugee support organizations.

A remarkable 35 RISD students received some level of recognition at state from the 2,200 entries created. Of those, only two will advance to nationals. Kassidy Testut from Richardson High School will also compete with her film, “Beauty is Life.”

Students of all ages are encouraged to enter the annual Reflections contest in any of the six categories – dance, film, music, literature, photography and visual arts. From the outstanding state competitors, four RISD students were selected to have their artwork displayed around downtown Austin, including Cole Williams from White Rock Elementary, a State Award of Excellence winner. West Junior High’s Zain Walker, RHS’ Alexandria Zupa and Berkner’s Kevin Kong will also have art displayed at the Texas Education Agency Building and/or the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Congratulations students, oh and Marria, I have you in my bracket.