9/11 Art Competition Winners Announced

We will never forget what happened on September 11, 2001, a day of unimaginable tragedy that forever altered history and our place in the world. As a way of remembering, The Trail of Painted Ponies has created two commemorative Painted Ponies in the past - Fallen Heroes Memorial Pony in 2005, and Unconquered in 2016.

In anticipation of the upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11 in 2021, The Trail announced a new art competition in early 2020, calling for original designs that remember the horror and heroism of THAT DAY!

The 9/11 Art Competition deadline was March 1, 2020. The top designs were then featured in online voting from March 2 through March 15, 2020.

A Very Special Thank You to everyone who submitted designs. And the winners are...

Embers Rising by Desiree Young
$500 Cash Prize

After the fires of heartache have calmed, the embers of American Pride spark a new flame, Patriotism.

"I am a stay at home mom that is self taught in a variety of art, from drawing and sculpting, to an assortment of crafting ideas."


America the Beautiful by Steve Riecks
$100 credit to The Trail of Painted Ponies Official Store

There is no better and stronger country in the world then the United States of America. Since that day on September 11, 2001, when our freedom and resolve were tested by evil, our nation did not fall apart. Instead we came together and have become stronger. The response and heroism that day brought out the best of us in this amazing country and showed the world why we are so strong. Twenty years later, as we continue to honor the victims and heroes of that day, the words from the song "America the Beautiful" come to mind:

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

America is indeed beautiful!

Steve Riecks is an award winning graphic artist, graphic designer, illustrator and fine artist with 35 years of experience specializing in corporate identity and promotional print material. He lives and works in Parker, Colorado. Steve studied graphic design and fine art at Colorado State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1983. While attending CSU, Steve was able to study art history at the Palais Kinsky in Vienna, Austria for two months during the summer of 1981. He was able to travel Europe and see some of the best museums in the world, such as the Louvre, Prado, Picasso, Van Gogh, Rikjs, and the Sistine Chapel. After college, Steve went to work for an ad agency in Denver, Colorado for two years.
He then ventured out on his own in 1986 and became a successful freelance graphic artist and illustrator. His clients have ranged from small non-profit to large Fortune 500 companies. Print projects have varied in size from business cards to large scale trade show booth graphics. He also specializes in book cover design, newsletters, and annual reports.