Air Force announces adult, youth artists of the year

  • Published
  • By Debbie Aragon
  • Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs
The Air Force Services Activity recently announced the winners of the annual Air Force Art Contest.

With more than 1,800 entries submitted by over 1,100 artists, it was clear creativity is in great supply at Air Force installations.

“I’m more and more impressed with the shape, colors, textures, and overall imagination of our artists,” said Darlene Johnson, AFSVA Community Programs Branch chief. “We have some incredible talent throughout our military installations and I’m so grateful we’re able to recognize and share their artwork so their friends, family, and fellow community members can view them.”

Art contest judge, and digital artist and photographer Rudy Lopez agreed.

“Every year I judge the contest, I’m blown away by the talent that I see across every category,” said Lopez.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Accomplished
1st Place: Sarah Whipple, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina
2nd Place: Ross Nelson, Robins AFB, Georgia
3rd Place: Gabrielle Swope, Hurlburt Field, Florida

Adult Novice
1st Place: Brandy Klindworth, Eielson AFB, Alaska
2nd Place: Danny Phillips, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma
3rd Place: Samantha Sorensen, Hill AFB, Utah

Youth (13-17 years)
1st Place: Cassie Carswell, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina (Parent: Jane Carswell)
2nd Place: Salvador Perez, Yokota Air Base, Japan (Parent: Ernesto Perez)
3rd Place: Lauren Booth, Robins AFB, Georgia (Parent: Dawn Booth)

Youth (9-12 years)
1st Place: Annelise Brekke, Ramstein AB, Germany (Parent: Sean Brekke)
2nd Place: Mackenzie Ballinger, Scott AFB, Illinois (Parent: Marie Ballinger)
3rd Place: Emily Brewer, Ramstein AB, Germany (Parent: Lynae Brewer)

Youth (6-8 years)
1st Place: Alyssa Stephenson, Moody AFB, Georgia (Parent: Lauretta Stephenson)
2nd Place: Sylvia Snyder, Ramstein AB, Germany (Parent: Sheena Snyder)
3rd Place: Aubree Williamson, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado (Parent: David Williamson)

Each year, Johnson and her team conduct the Air Force Art Contest Nov. 1 – 30.

In preparation for next year’s contest, Lopez shared a little advice.

“When submitting your entry, make sure that you’re showing your work in the best way possible,” he said. “Presentation is a huge part of art…you’re displaying your art, and ultimately yourself, for the world to see, so you want to ensure that people are given the opportunity to truly enjoy what you have to say visually without any distractions.”

For more on this year’s Air Force Art Contest entries, go to