Three Longview High School students this past weekend were honored as being among the best young artists in Texas.

One member of the group – in her first ever All – State competition – was also recognized as being among best of the best.

Senior Dervares Hayter and juniors Madison Branch and Serena Tuel received ‘superior’ ratings at the Visual Arts Scholastic Event in Bryan. The designation is comparable to the All-State rating in

University Interscholastic League competitions. Branch was awarded for her 2D mixed media piece “Phoenix Owl,” while Hayter received statewide recognition for his 3D sculpture “Trapped.” In addition to the ‘superior’ accolades, judges also awarded Tuel a Gold

Seal Medal for her 3D ceramics piece “Surprise.” Only 150 artists – of the more than 24,000 who competed – received the exclusive designation.

Tuel’s honor is the first ever awarded to a Longview High School artist, according to Jeff Hull, sculpture teacher. “We are rewarded often as teachers, but this group of students is really special,” Hull said. “To have three All-State artists in the same school year – and with one of them earning the Gold Seal …It’s historical.”

The students began the road to state competition in February, when they put their art work against 694 works (from 26 schools) in the region and area competition. Only 35 works from the regional competition went on to be judged at the state level. The ‘All-State’ meet featured 1,499 art works (representing 1,200 students) from top artists across the state.

Branch is taught by Ellen Herbert. Hayter and Tuel are students of Jeff Hull.