Freshman Teen Wins Aviation Art Contest

A Billings, Montana, teenager earns first place in a nationwide competition sponsored by the Air Race Classic

Left brain meets right brain in a nationwide aviation art contest sponsored by the Air Race Classic, the all-women cross-country airplane race. Fourteen-year-old student pilot Kassi Slowey of Billings, Montana, won first place for her artwork that captures the adventure and romance of "Flying CrossCountry."

Kassi Slowey of Billings, Montana, flies with National Aerobatic Champion Debby Rihn Harvey after winning an aviation art contest. Photo courtesy Tami Slowey

A panel of judges from the American Association of Aviation Artists chose Kassi as the artist whose entry best evoked the "Flying CrossCountry"theme, a subject that reflects the freedom and skill involved in flying the Air Race Classic, an annual four-day, 2,500-mileairplane race for women pilots. The art competition was open to girls ages 12 to 17.

In celebration of the young pilot's achievement, one of the judges, aviation artist Kristin Hill, exhibited Kassi's winning entry among her own works of art on display at AirVenture Oshkosh this year. And while she was at Oshkosh, Kassi had the opportunity to fly with U.S. National Aerobatic Champion Debby Rihn-Harvey.

"I was extremely honored that my art was on display at such a huge event as Oshkosh, among the amazing artwork of Kristin Hill," said Kassi. "Flying with Debby Rihn-Harvey was absolutely amazing. I had so much fun. I'd like to express to everyone who was involved in making that happen that I cannot thank you enough!"

Members of the American Association of Aviation Artists will be mentoring the Billings West High School freshman to nurture her artistic talent. Kassi has been flying for almosther entire life. She has flown seaplanes and gliders, as well as land-basedaircraft. Once she turns 16 and is old enough to solo, Kassi plans on earning her pilot's license and eventually becoming a commercial pilot.

You can see Kassi's winning entry here. To learn more about the Air Race Classic, an all-volunteer, nonprofit with a mission that includes encouraging and educating current and future female pilots, visit to airraceclassic.org.

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