Young artists honored for Black History Month art contest

First place won $500 for a portrait of Ray Charles

Roanoke, Va. – Some of the most talented young artists were recognized in the Star City Thursday night.

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea announced the four winners in the 12th annual U.S. Cellular Black History Month art contest. It's hosted in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club.

First place was awarded to Patrick Henry High School junior Tyler Turner for his portrait of Ray Charles done in pencil.

He wins $500 and he didn't have to look far for inspiration.

"My whole family is really big on music and my grandad's name who was also a music composer, his name is Ray, so I thought of him, I thought of Ray Charles and so I chose to draw him," Turner said.

This is Turner's third year placing in the top three entries.

Second place was awarded to Harley Oldham for a portrait of Michael Jackson and to McKenna Ramsey for a drawing of Harriet Tubman, both taking home $100 each. Third place and $100 went to Ryan Vazquez-Ayala for a drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The program has awarded more than $10,000 in prizes since it started 11 years ago.

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