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Two Virginia Students Earn Top Honors in International Aviation Art Contest

The Commonwealth’s art students are some of the finest in the world. That is not just the opinion of the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV), but also that of the judges of the International Aviation Art Contest, sponsored by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the FAI chose the theme, “Air Sports for a Peaceful World,” and received almost 100 entries from multiple continents.

Eric Shen of Vienna, VA, was awarded second place in the Junior category. Like many 8-year-old boys, Shen likes to draw high-powered vehicles – especially monster trucks. Unlike the free-falling figures in his submission, it seems that he has no intention of slowing down.

“I would love to sky-dive,” Shen said.

Iris Xie, also of Vienna, won third place in the Intermediate category. She had her start as most students do – drawing in kindergarten – and received an honorable mention from the DOAV during last year’s contest.

Xie said, “When I feel like drawing, I take a picture and then I draw that… Honestly, I am surprised I won.”

Xie is studying how to draw human anatomy at Sunberry Art Studio in Great Falls, VA. These skills will serve her well in next year’s International Aviation Art Contest, where the theme is “Women with Wings.”

DOAV Director Greg Campbell congratulated all the winners of the International Aviation Art Contest, and reiterated his pride in the Commonwealth’s winners. “Today, two Virginia students are recognized for what they are – the best in the world,” he said.

Both students were originally selected as part of the DOAV’s Virginia Aviation Art Contest. They were among nine students from the Commonwealth that progressed to the national competition in Washington, D.C. Having won honors nationally entitled them to move on to the international contest. Art entries were received from China, Egypt, France, India, Latvia, Japan, Lithuania, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Serbia, Syria, Thailand, USA, and Qatar. Only one other American student (from Kansas) was honored in the world-wide event.

To learn more about next year’s competition, check out the 2025 Virginia Aviation Art Contest at

Article provided by: Tony Sotelo, Public Relations and Education Specialist 

Contact: 804-774-4634 or email

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