Page Content

Artwork wins Dallas fifth-grader Caribbean cruise

Decrease text sizeRestore defaule text sizeIncrease text size  Print this page

Clayton Graves, 11, takes top honor in Adopt-A-Beach Children’s Art Contest

Contact: Jim Suydam
PRESS RELEASE — Apr 17, 2012

AUSTIN — A sea turtle curiously approaches as mysterious hands pull a soda can and a six-pack ring from the surf. Colorful fish circle a tableau of trash left by beachgoers as a horseshoe crab scoots past, oblivious. Look closer and words appear on bracelets adorning the disembodied wrists, and the message is clear: Trashing Texas Beaches Isn't Cool.  

That's the scene - selected from 4,088 entries - that won 11-year-old Clayton Graves a grand prize in the 2012 Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Children's Art Contest. Clayton, a fifth-grader at J.P. Starks Elementary School, will have his artwork featured on the cover of the 2013 Adopt-A-Beach Children's Art Contest Calendar.  

"Clayton's artwork captures the elbow-grease environmentalism behind the Adopt-A-Beach program's success," said Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. "When it comes down to it, Adopt-A-Beach is about picking up someone else's trash because the fish and the sea turtles and other creatures that live on the coast can't." 

Clayton's artwork wins him two round-trip, coach-class tickets from United Airlines to any United destination in the 48 contiguous United States, one 7-night Caribbean cruise from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines departing out of Galveston, Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale, and a class party at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels. Clayton's art teacher, Peter Sebastian, also receives two round-trip, coach-class tickets from United Airlines and one 7-night Caribbean cruise courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruises. 

A total of 39 other students from across Texas also earned honors for artwork depicting their love for the Texas coast. All finalists in the Adopt-A-Beach Children's Art Contest will receive a ticket to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, two all-day passes to Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, two tickets to the permanent exhibit hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a certificate of recognition, prizes from the Texas General Land Office and a calendar displaying the winning artwork.  

Contest judges picked 10 winners in each of the four categories: kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade, third-grade and fourth-grade, and fifth-grade and sixth-grade. Clayton's grand prize entry was selected from the list of finalists. 

The annual contest is organized through the Texas General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach program. The contest began in 1996 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Adopt-A-Beach program. The annual competition encourages Texas students to learn more about the Texas coast and express what they have learned in their art. This year's contest sponsors are Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, United Airlines,  

Schlitterbahn Waterparks, the Texas State Aquarium and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. 

This year's Adopt-A-Beach Spring Cleanup is scheduled to take place on April 28 at 30 sites along the Texas coast. For more information please contact the Texas General Land Office at 1-877-TXCOAST or visit our website at

The artwork of all 40 finalists will be on display in the State Capitol's South Central Gallery from 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22 until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29. A special thank you goes to Representative Larry Taylor for sponsoring the exhibit. 

The following students were selected as finalists for the 2012 Treasures of the Texas Coast Children's Art Contest:

Name                                                      Age                         City

Camilia Abbud                                        11                            El Paso

Emilia Abbud                                          9                              El Paso

Presley Baldwin                                      8                              Southlake

Andrew Becerra                                      11                            Houston

Samantha Bryant                                     12                            Austin

Yzeña Castañada                                     11                            Sundown

Priscilla Diaz                                           9                              Allen

Taylor Dohmann                                     12                            Victoria

Victoria Flores                                        9                              Houston

Alejandra Fontes                                     11                            Houston

Alexyz Garcia                                         10                            Houston

Natalie Gomez                                         11                            El Paso

Tristan Gonzalez                                     11                            Houston

Saray Granados                                       8                              Houston

Clayton Graves                                       11                            Dallas (Grand Prize Winner)

Dulce Hernandez                                     8                              Houston

Amy Hoang                                            8                              Franklin

Margelle Kyle                                         7                              Friendswood          

Lanna Lang                                             11                            Plano

Eddie Lewis III                                       10                            Houston

Zachary Montz                                        12                            Friendswood

Lindsey Nguyen                                      11                            Friendswood

Jozannah Orta                                         10                            Weslaco

Anjil Peña                                               7                              Driscoll

Stephany Peraza                                      9                              Houston

Sherlyn Perez                                          6                              Houston

Ysabella Piccio                                        9                              Brownsville

Laura Pressman                                       11                            McGregor

Ashley Ramirez                                       12                            Beaumont

Cameron Ramirez                                    10                            Houston

Gabriela Ramirez                                     10                            Roma

Karen Ramirez                                        6                              Houston

Rafael Ramirez                                        11                            Houston

Jesus Saenz III                                        11                            Roma

Kiana Sanchez                                         9                              Driscoll

Justin Sandoval                                       10                            Houston

William Seiler                                          11                            Victoria

Caroline Spence                                      9                              Richardson

Thalia Belle Stephens                              8                              Atascosa

Taylor Trevino                                        7                              Victoria




More Press Releases

Links to Additional Resources

Press Versions



Jim Suydam
Press Secretary
Office of Communications
1700 N. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78711
Jim Suydam