Student’s artwork work will hang in U.S. Capitol

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 138 views 

BENTONVILLE — U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said he was glad he didn’t have to judge entries from student artists in his district for the 2012 Congressional Art Competition.
“No politician wants to be known for picking just one,” he joked Wednesday (May 3) at a reception and awards presentation for the competition’s top five artists, their families and the students’ art teachers. The event was held at the Bentonville Downtown Activity Center

Local judges Kevin Arnold, Rhonda French and Manuela Well-Off-Man, art historian and assistant curator at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, picked Abby Reimer’s acrylic work “To Find the Colors” to represent the 3rd Congressional District in the 2012 Congressional Art Competition.
Finalists chosen from every congressional district will have their work hung for one year in the U.S. Capitol —  specifically, in the tunnel that leads from the Cannon and Longworth House Office Buildings to the U.S. Capitol building. Womack said the art-filled walk provides a much needed break in the stressful day of representatives.

“People stop in the tunnel and admire the art,” he said.

Since the competition started in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students from around the country have participated.

The contest drew 33 entries. The top five selected all came from Northwest Arkansas students, including three who study art under art teacher Ken Francis in Siloam Springs. The field included Haley Wade, second place; Alexander James, third place; and Autumn Fuller and Miller Cooper, honorable mention. All are either sophomores or juniors, which means they can enter the competition again in 2013.

Reimer received a blue ribbon from Womack, a $500 check from Cathy Foraker of AT&T and a commemorative Crystal Bridges book signed by founder Alice Walton and presented at the award ceremony by Sandy Edwards, deputy director of museum relations at Crystal Bridges.

She and a guest will be invited to a winners’ reception on June 20 the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington D.C.