A painting Jamie Liu started in her Lake Oswego High School art class will soon make its way to Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, May 4, Rep. Kurt Schrader met with students from Lake Oswego and West Linn high schools during the 2022 Congressional Art Competition Reception, which was held in Oregon City. The art competition is a nationwide event that takes place every year. Members of Congress sponsor a competition within their congressional district as a way to showcase artistic talent.
"With COVID, expressions of art are even more important," Schrader said. "There's a lot of trauma that we've all been through over the last couple of years, and (it's great) to have young people be able to express themselves ... with their art."
The students' work was judged by a panel of artists and ranked on composition, color, technical skills, design and story.
Ashley Lewis, a student at Lake Oswego High School, was third runner-up for her watercolor painting titled "Asia's Vision." The panel described her painting as "very ambitious, good use of symbolism and multicultural."
Lewis' art piece was inspired by her friend Asia's perception of "what beauty is" and combined colorful imagery of Oregon, flowers and illustration of chakras.
Trinity Callahan, a West Linn High School student, placed second runner-up for their piece titled "Breaking," an acrylic painting that captured a woman sitting naked in a bath. The judges said the painting was "very evocative" but also reflective of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lily Schimser from Lake Oswego High School took home the first runner-up prize with her painting, "Horse Skull," which represents her love of horses. Schimser said she tried out different techniques, including the use of coffee staining. Panelists said the painting illustrated interesting subject matter, had good use of textures and evoked an emotional response among viewers.
Other notable mentions were: West Linn High School's s Nola Carstairs for "Knight" and Lake Oswego High School students Olivia Waddling for "Bleached Coral," Reese Stame for "Destrangle" and Jialiang Hempstead for "Fantasy Land."
Liu took home the top prize for her watercolor titled "Baked Ziti," which is a portrait of her father eating pasta at a restaurant.
A week earlier, Liu took home second place and Staff Choice Award at the Clackamas ESD art show for her work, "Return Home."
Liu said she has always been interested in art but did not start appreciating it until the pandemic.
"It was so surprising (to win) when there are so many amazing other artists here. I hope people find joy in my painting because that's why I make art," Liu said.
Liu's painting will be displayed in the tunnels that connects all the office buildings to the Capitol with the other student winners of the Congressional Art Show. Liu also won free airline tickets to visit Washington D.C.
"This is inspirational about where our country's going despite COVID and some of the tough times over the last couple of years. We have an opportunity to move forward and you guys are providing a way," Schrader said.
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