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Persephone Sandoval makes it to final round of an international art contest

By B.L. Azure

Ronan Middle School student Persephone Sandoval made it to the final cut of the American Academy of Pediatrics 2013 art contest. (B.L. Azure photo) Ronan Middle School student Persephone Sandoval made it to the final cut of the American Academy of Pediatrics 2013 art contest. (B.L. Azure photo)

ST. IGNATIUS — The say art is in the eye of the beholder. Art can also be churning through the veins of those who produce art. Such is the case of 12-year-old Persephone Sandoval, daughter of Cristen Morigeau and Antoine Sandoval, son of CSKT member Joanne Bigcrane, well known for her work related to American Indian ethnobotany, and Navajo artist Tony M. Sandoval. Antoine has his father’s artistic ability — it’s in the genes — and so does Persephone. And in Greek mythology Persephone is the goddess of vegetation.

The Ronan Middle School seventh grader Sandoval, with the urging of her mother Cristen, THHS Tobacco Prevention Program manager, entered the American Academy of Pediatrics 2013 international art contest entitled “A World Free of Tobacco and Second Hand Smoke.” As the title of the contest alludes to, the competition was international.

There were three school-grade categories and Sandoval competed in the grades six through eighth grade category. She entered a watercolor poster piece depicting healthy and unhealthy lifestyle choices aimed at adolescents. She made a good run in the competition, making it to the last cut.

“I feel good about the contest,” Persephone said. “I made it to the final cut. I am okay with that.”

The top four placers in each of the age groups have their pieces featured in the American Academy of Pediatrics 2014 calendar. They will also be used for anti-smoking posters, announcements and brochures this year.

“I am really proud of her,” Cristen said. “I think this is a great accomplishment.”


Persephone is no rookie when it comes to entering art contests; she has entered others and is quite confident about her ability to create art. She certainly applies herself to her muse.

“My artistic ability is pretty good. Most of my family always wants me to draw something for them,” Persephone said. “Most of the time, when I come home I get out my art supplies and draw until I am told to go to bed. In the summer I usually start drawing right after breakfast until bedtime.”

Persephone’s artist ability was revealed at a very young age.

“Mom told me that when I was one year old I was given a large canvas that I painted all over,” she said. Perhaps the first piece had a bit of artist Jackson Pollack’s abstract expressionist feel to it. “Art is really fun for me. It is partly a hobby and part of what I want to do with my life.”

Persephone — not your everyday name — is derived from Greek mythology. She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the harvest goddess and queen of the underworld. Persephone is the vegetation goddess.

Editor's Note: Article was corrected from the print version.

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