Sioux Fall student’s artwork enters national competition


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Creating art is something that may or may not be easy for one person. But for a high school student from Sioux Falls, her works become international.

Ella Ratliff has been drawing since she was little.

She is now a student at Lincoln High School.

“It slowly became my thing, but I didn’t really have a place to channel it until high school, where I started competing and solidifying real pieces instead of doodles,” said said junior Ella Ratliff.

This watercolor recently won first place in the State of the Aeronautical Art Contest sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

“There are different categories, and I believe Ella was the 14-17 and so she won at the state level for 14-17, then it goes to the national level, then at the national level, she took the second place in the country,” art teacher Sarah Winterscheidt said.

This year’s invite was about aviation.

“Ella and I talked about it and we looked at and researched the number of female pilots or captains, and it was a small percentage,” Winterscheidt said.

“I was like we had a giant flying robot that could fly astronauts into space,” Ratliff said. “It’s supposed to look like me painting a mural, but it’s also me painting a figure in the sky itself, so it’s me bringing my robot back to life through this blue print and put him back in heaven.”

From now on, this work will go to the international level in Switzerland.

“It’s crazy, I couldn’t believe it when I got the results, I thought it was some kind of prank, but it was amazing,” Ratliff said. The international part will be judged in June. Ratliff says she plans to continue entering contests and has even sold some of her original pieces.


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