Katya Hadley’s artistic imagination begins to unfold when she simply turns on some music, closes her eyes and grabs a pencil and paper.

A junior at Copperas Cove High School, Hadley was among the winning artists at the 2013 Copperas Cove High School Festival of the Arts on Saturday in the Lea Ledger Auditorium foyer.

“I’ve been drawing since I was in elementary, and it’s always been my form of expression,” she said. “Some of the things were project-based such as the charcoal and abstract which I ended up enjoying.”

Hadley won best of show for her overall portfolio submission, which included about 30 separate drawings and her favorite picture of a grinning creature — a cross between a fox and a dragon. Most of Hadley’s art revolves around animals and landscapes.

A Russian artist named Shanol inspired her most recent work.

“The creature is a character of an artist I particularly like,” she said. “I drew him the picture and scanned it and sent it to him and he very much liked it, and I very much enjoyed drawing it.”

Drawing is a talent Hadley believes will help with future endeavors.

“I’m hoping to get a career in either graphic design or animation, but I’ve got to practice my art skills and get those up,” she said. “I am very happy to have received what I did and glad to be in this art show where I can meet other people whose art I really admire.”

Copperas Cove High School has hosted the art festival for 10 years. Catherine Shuler, an art instructor, said the festival is a time for students to showcase their talents.

“Our students have sculptures, paintings and watercolors, and it’s to give them the appreciation for art that they might not have.”

Among the hundreds of diverse paintings, sculptures, masks and other abstract work on display was a charcoal-based drawing of two fighting lions, drawn by freshman Bryana Harkans. She participated in the festival for the first time Saturday.

“It’s a lot larger than I thought it would be,” she said. “I learned all about technique, and I definitely need a lot of work on that because I used to be so narrow-minded into one thing rather than the variety of the arts.”

Although she did not win any awards this year, Harkans said the art festival provided an opportunity to show the community what students are really capable of doing.

More than a dozen art pieces received recognition at the festival.

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