Student artists compete for chance to design Port Arthur utility box

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Port Arthur Beautification Committee is giving four students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make their permanent mark on the Port Arthur city landscape.

Yasiri Naville, a realtor for Coldwell Banker Southern Homes, said she was inspired by her hometown and its ongoing beautification process to include Memorial High School students in an extraordinary art contest that will allow four winners to paint their own drawing on a utility box.

“I love the city of Port Arthur, so one day I thought about reaching out to ask about doing a utility box for Memorial High School students,” she said. “It just caught my eye. It’s something I like seeing done in Port Arthur and wanted to see how the students can get involved in the project and in the community.

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“I wanted to show that there are great artistic students in Port Arthur. I wanted to promote the city and its students. I was inspired and just wanted to get everyone involved.”

Contest rules include the submission of an 8×10 sketch with a Titan theme or Port Arthur theme.

Students entering the contest must be a Memorial High School student and available to draw two Saturdays in a row from 8 a.m. to noon. The deadline to turn in the drawing is Feb. 27.

Maria Guidry, Memorial High School art teacher, said the opportunity is a great way to show the students and the city how important art is to the community.

“Some artists are very shy,” she said. “They keep their sketchbooks to themselves, but this a great opportunity for the students to come out of their shell and see that art is in everything that you do. It shows the students that not only is their art important to them, but to the city as well.”

Guidry said she has made entering the contest an assignment for all her students and has already begun to see amazing sketches.

“One of my students said if her drawing was to win, that she would like one side of the utility box to have signature handprints from each student in the class,” she said. “That way, they all touched some piece of it.

Guidry said the majority of students draw sketches of the sports or activities that they are in and many have done the refineries.

“They all have a lot of skill and pride in Memorial, so this contest is a way to show a piece of that,” she said.

As a native of Port Arthur, Guidry said she loves her city and can’t wait to see which students will make their mark in history.

“The pride that we have here in Port Arthur and the great things that have come from here shows that we have a lot of talent,” Guidry said. “I’m excited that the kids will be able to express their artwork for all of Port Arthur to see, especially because it is their own something to be proud of and have bragging rights for all of Port Arthur to see.”

Students are reminded to include their contact information on the back of the drawing with name, phone number and grade level.

Winners will be announced March 9.

For more information, call Guidry at 409-365-5492. Drawings can be dropped off to room C102 on the Memorial campus.

Businesses interested in becoming a supervisor during the paint sessions on the last two Saturdays in March can contact Naville at