, Muskogee, OK


March 23, 2013

Teen’s artistic talents reap big rewards

MHS sophomore wins telephone directory contest

— When Abigail Gray, a sophomore at Muskogee High School, sent her drawing in to Downey Publishing, she wasn’t expecting anything great to come of it.

“I’m surprised it won,” Abigail said. “I’m honored by it, though. I kind of rushed it because I had schoolwork to do. It was definitely not as great as I wanted it to be, and actually I wanted to throw it away at first.”

Abigail’s drawing was the grand prize winner of Downey Publishing’s “Art for Education” contest, and will be on the front cover of the 2013-14 Muskogee and Wagoner telephone directory.

Abigail was in her art class when the teacher, Sonya Foster, mentioned the contest. After some encouraging from Foster, Abigail said she brought the idea home, where her grandmother gave her an inspiring thought.

“She suggested I draw the overpass on Callahan Street,” she said. “Then she went and took a picture of it, and I took it from there. I drew it in pencil first, then filled in the colors I saw in the photograph.”

Brenda Gray, Abigail’s grandmother, said words could not explain how proud she is of her granddaughter.

“I know lots of people who want an autographed phone book when they come out,” she said. “I’ve told everyone I know about it. I think she does fabulous artwork. She has a room full of it.”

As the grand prize winner of the contest, Abigail also will receive a $500 Visa gift card. She said she is going to save that for a car.

“I don’t know what kind of car I’m going to get,” she said. “I guess one that runs is fine.”

Abigail also said winning this contest has piqued her interest in entering others.

“I’m really interested in doing contests now,” she said. “Mrs. Foster has inspired me to go above and beyond in everything I draw. There’s another contest at the school right now that I’ve got my eye on, and it might get me extra credit for my art class.”

Stephanie Scott, Abigail’s aunt, said she wasn’t surprised by the phone call notifying Abigail of the win, but Abigail was leery at first.

“When they made the call, she thought she was being punked,” Scott said.

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2809 or tsloat

Text Only
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.