Raina Cline

Raina Cline poses with her painting at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

ANGLETON — Raina Cline was ready to auction her painting at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, an opportunity to gain an unforgettable experience and a potential college scholarship. Then the event was canceled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Brazoswood junior has had a passion for art as long as she can remember. From her childhood learning to draw animals in her sketchbook to her eventual dream as storyboard artist, Raina has wanted art to be a part of her life.

“I just fell in love with it,” Raina said. “I have always been into art.”

When her skills developed over the years, Raina began auctioning her art at various competitions. One of those was the Visual Arts Scholastic Event last year.

“I went to VASE as a sophomore and I put in two pieces and one got in,” Raina said. “All of my art teachers helped me bring my talents up. My talents developed and matured with their help.”

Although she didn’t win, Raina’s art was set to hit the largest stage yet, an invitation to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo’s School Art Program.

“Whenever I found out, I’m not one to get overly emotional but I was overjoyed,” she said. “They only took 100 pieces of art in the surrounding Houston area.”

Raina would paint at school between her class work and extracurriculars to finalize her masterpiece to send in.

“I would do my homework in class and take off of water polo to finish it,” Raina said. “I have an odd knack of painting real fast. I just get caught up in the details. It’s a balance.”

Raina’s attention to detail made her rodeo-inspired piece of a young girl on horseback traveling through the mountains months in the makings.

“I was probably the first one to start and the last one to finish,” she said. “It took me about two to three months to finish it.”

After finishing, her art was chosen from thousands that entered the rodeo, then an unprecedented pandemic took it all away.

“When I found out I didn’t cry, I just was sad,” Raina said. “It was a solemn understanding.”

The young artist had lost at least a guaranteed $1,500 scholarship, which was the starting bid, she said.

Although disappointed, Raina understands the importance of safety and the concern of the rodeo patrons.

“It’s OK because there are going to be other major events in our lives,” Raina said. “We need to do the best to flatten the curve and good things will come again.”

Knowing the potential her daughter has, her mother Dena Cline, an elementary special education teacher for Angleton ISD, is confident that Raina will return.

“Art is subjective, it is not like sports where there is a clear winner,” Dena said. “The good news is she is a junior so she has another chance. I know she has friends who are seniors who are going to miss out and it’s a bummer.”

Raina knows that trying her best is gives her a chance to return to the rodeo and she still hopes to improve, she said. She hopes to use scholarship money for tuition to either University of Texas-Dallas or Sam Houston State University for their art programs, Raina said.

Nick Irene is a reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0149.

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