Winners named in 8th Congressional District Art Contest

Jon Tatting
ECM Post Review

Four high school students from Minnesota’s 8th congressional district were chosen as winners of the 2012 Congressional Art Competition on April 11 at U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack’s office in North Branch.

A Moose Lake eighth grader was awarded first place for a black and white photograph of a young girl sitting against a building. The judges were impressed by the artist’s ability to generate intrigue, high emotion through the blunt simplicity of the composition and child’s innocence.

Earning second place was an 11th grader from Grand Rapids who brought her self portrait to the life through a drawing done exclusively in black ink. The judges could not look away from the subject’s wide-eyed stare, which like the first place winner, tugged at emotions.

The panel of judges also selected two honorable mentions: a Littlefork seventh grader’s photograph of a friend hanging out at the playground and a piece showing the power of color mixed with shapes by a ninth grader from Grand Rapids.

Judging were Katherine Salverda, a visual artist from Stacy; Roger Elmore, an advertising marketing designer from Wyoming; and Chisago County Commissioner Ben Montzka. They felt every student did a great job, as a certificate of special congressional recognition will be sent to all 29 entrants.

As for the winners, the first place finisher’s artwork will be displayed in the United States Capitol for a year-long “Artistic Discovery” exhibition, highlighting the creative genius of young artists from across the nation.

The second place winner’s piece will be on display in Congressman Cravaack’s main office in North Branch. And the honorable mentions’ art will be recognized with a congressional letter of commendation.

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. The competition allows members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.