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Local teen wins DC trip in Congressional Art Contest

By Shirley Shuman

Emily Garrett, an upcoming BCHS senior, recently earned a trip to Washington DC with first place in WV’s First Congressional District portion of the Congressional Institute’s annual art contest. Garrett’s win came with a painting of her younger sister Natalie. She explained the steps to her success.

“After seeing a notice of the contest online, my mother told me about it,” Garrett said. “Since I enjoy art, I decided to enter the contest and chose to paint my sister Natalie because she’s really pretty and a very good person.”

The contest was held in January, and all entries were posted in the WV Culture Center in Charleston. In February, Garrett learned that her painting had earned first place among the First Congressional District entries, and she received a blue ribbon. The art of the congressional district winners of all 50 states was sent to Washington, where they will be displayed for one year in the US Capitol. Winners were also invited to the nation’s capital to meet their congressional representatives.

“Representative Carol Miller and her assistants invited me to their office in DC, and [they] gave me a Capitol tour and took me to see the tunnel where my art, along with all the other winners is displayed!”  Garrett noted. She said she especially enjoyed “the sculptures, painting, and architecture.”  After all of this, she  attended the awards assembly on June 27 where the winners received certificates.

Garrett, the daughter of Chris and Yuki Garrett said she was “excited to see [her] art displayed where thousands of people see it every day.”  She added, “I had a really great time, and I loved meeting new people.” 

The Congressional Institute sponsors this nationwide high school visual art competition each spring “to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district.” More than 650,000 high school students have competed in the contest since it began in 1982.  Art is submitted to the students’ representa-tive’s office where it is judged by panels of district artists.