2020 – 2021  Art Contest Winning Entries

Theme: “Marines in Flight”

Annual art contest gives students a platform to express their artistic and creative skills as they learn about U.S. and aviation history and the contributions, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who designed, built, flew and maintained these iconic aircraft.  The time and effort students put into their entries was evident, making selection of  winners difficult.


High School Division

“Service Advancement”

Artist: Annie Lien, Grade 11, Scripps Ranch High School

1st Place-High School Division, 2020-2021  Flying Leathernecks Student Art Contest

Media:  Acrylic Paint, Gel  Pen

Artistic Inspiration:

The aircraft that I had chosen to paint was the F-35. With some background research, I found that the F-35 is not only the newest and most advanced model of fighter jets but also to be considered the most intelligent and versatile compared to others. It can collect, share, and coordinate information using its different sensors that later combine into a holistic picture aiding pilots. All of which was remarkably fascinating to me.

I painted 3 F-35s because I wanted to show teamwork within the U.S. military. I believe that with any successful leadership, teamwork  becomes a crucial factor. The background that I painted is to resemble the rocky desert mountains of Afghanistan’s warzone. I learned that the most recent combat was between the  U.S. and Afghanistan in the year 2018. So to resemble the rocky desert mountains of Afghanistan’s warzone, I chose to paint the background that I did. It was also the Marine Corps’ first time fighting using the F-35. Not to mention how successful it was in helping to bring U.S. heroic soldiers back home.

Last but not least, I painted a U.S. flag in front of the F-35 to show patriotism. It was positioned in the middle because it was the biggest and center of attention jet that allowed me space to paint the flag as accurately as I can


“Flying Bi-Plane”

Artist: Alejandra Rivera, Grade 11. Hilltop High School, Chula Vista

2nd Place-High School Division, 2020-2021 Flying Leathernecks Student Art Contest

Media: Black Marker, Colored Pencils

Artistic Inspiration:

I searched Marine aviation as well as aircraft to get an idea of what I wanted to create.  I decided to draw a bi-plane because it seemed interesting to me and I thought it would be fun to draw.


“Wings Upon Wings”

Artist: , Charlie Allbritton, Grade 11, Junipero Serra High School, San Diego

3rd Place-High School Division, 2020-2021 Flying Leathernecks Student Art Contest

Media: Marker, Pencil, Wax .

Artistic Inspiration:

I wanted to show how historical Marine aircraft led to innovation and the aircraft currently in use by the Marine Corps. I also wanted to reinforce the land and sea missions. In addition, I wanted to highlight aircraft that could use the LHD flight deck.

I used the first aircraft in red to symbolize the beginning of Marine aviation-a Burgess Model H.  The Hellcat of WWII is center left.  I put a Huey in olive green to contrast with the gray of the Super Cobra. In the top right, I placed the Super Hornet. Central to my drawing is the Harrier Jump Jet and offset is the Osprey.

This is the way I imagine aviation and technology and serving America.

Middle School Division

“Lightning in a Clear Sky”

Artist: Christopher Yang, Grade 8, Bernardo Heights Middle School, San Diego

1st Place, Middle School Division, 2020-2021 Student Art Contest

Media: Watercolor, Pencil, Ink

Artistic Inspiration:

The F-35 Lightning II was chosen from the two main competitors in the JSF Program, the other one being Boeing. In addition to the performance requirements the cost had to  be kept low. The plane also was to serve the Air Force, Navy and Marines. I respect the people who built the plane and admire their work.

“Black Sheep”

Artist: Anisha Chaudhari, Grade 7, Thurgood Marshall Middle School, San Diego

2nd Place-Middle School Division, 2020-2021 Flying Leathernecks Student Art Contest

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artistic Inspiration:

Around three years ago I visited the Boeing Headquarters in Seattle. This visit inspired me to paint an aircraft built by Boeing, the AV-8B-214 Harrier II. Boeing is also a client of the company my dad works for. I chose the name “Black Sheep” for my painting because it was one of the most famous squadrons the AV-8B Harrier flew in. This squadron name was used in World War II, also known as VMA 214.


Artist: Han Yang, Grade 8, Aviara Oaks Middle School, Carlsbad

3rd Place-Middle School Division, 2020-2021 Flying Leathernecks Student Art Contest

Media Used: Watercolor

Artistic Inspiration:

My inspiration was from Sarah Deal Burrow, the first female pilot.  She seemed as free as an eagle and dazzling as a sun to me.


Thank You to  Art Contest Donors and Judges

The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation gratefully acknowledges the financial support of its education program provided by  Major Glenn Ferguson (USMC-retired).

We were fortunate to have as judges three nationally recognized professional artists and illustrators: Gary Johnson, Lee Kromshroeder, and Herb Prokse. We gratefully acknowledge the time and expertise they contributed to make the program a success.

2020-2021  Gallery Of Winning Artwork

*click image to see larger version