(T-G photo by Jim Davis)
Every year about this time, the Aeronautics Division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation sponsors its annual Youth Aviation Art Contest.
This year's theme is "My Favorite Air Sport."
Rules this year call for art to be in the standard size of 11" x 17" and the artwork must be original. The artwork should be permanent, such as watercolor, acrylic, permanent markers, oils, or indelible ink.
Since the artwork will be handled participants should use a medium that won't be smudged, WIlliamson said. Do not use pencils, pastels or charcoal.
There are three age groups: 6-9, 10-13, 14-17 years old.
"In the past, Shelbyville and Bedford County have been well represented; youth from this area have won numerous ribbons, certificates and U. S. Savings Bonds. Also, the schools of the winning entrants have received cash for their art departments," said Williamson, manager of the airport.
"While the state usually sends out the entry forms to each school every year, many students never get the word about this important, international art contest, so we at Shelbyville airport take it upon ourselves to try and encourage as many young people to participate as possible.
"One of the most important things we do here at Shelbyville Airport is to promote general aviation and what better way to promote aviation than to help generate interest in our local youth for flying. We've had a lot of different groups of kids out here for tours; our recent open house had record numbers of families out here to watch airplanes and just have fun."
Each year Williamson, an artist and musician himself, reaches out to anyone possible to garner interest for the contest.
"You don't have to be a Leonardo da Vinci or Pablo Picasso to enter; you just have to want to have fun," he said. "The most important goal of this contest is to have fun," said Williamson, "I'm continually amazed at the variety of interesting and colorful artwork we receive."
You may turn your entry in to the airport and Williamson will hand-carry them to Nashville before the deadline, or mail them to TDOT/AD, 607 Hangar Lane, P.O. Box 17326, Nashville TN 37217. Entries must be postmarked by Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Entry forms can be picked up at Shelbyville Airport, or go to www.nasao.org for more information.