Junior Captures first place in Congressional Art Contest

Junior Ellie Burken’s talents have reached a new level — all of the way to the U.S. capital.

One of her art pieces had the honor to win first place at the Congressional Art Competition. The painting, titled “Innocence,” depicts a small child in a tree house wearing a super-hero costume, with the background, made out of newspaper clippings reporting horrible things such as car accidents, house fires, Ebola and shootings.

To create it, Burken used a combination of acrylic paint, popsicle sticks, newspaper articles, spray paint and glue to create the background. The painting only took a couple of weeks to complete, but the most difficult part for Burken was not painting, but completely developing the idea behind it.

“My inspiration probably came from all the superhero movies I had been watching lately,” Burken said. “I really love the idea of superpowers, and using old comic strips to make a project just seemed like a good idea.”

In addition to winning, the painting will be displayed in the halls of Congress along with paintings from every district in the United States.

“It feels amazing,” Burken said. “I love the fact that my painting will be seen by hundreds of people every day.”

Art teacher Emily Luesnsmann showed enthusiasm over Burken  winning. “She had a really nice piece,” Luesnmann said. “I had a feeling that it was going to win something when she first made it last semester, so I held onto it until I could actually put it in for the contest.”

This is the second year in a row that CFHS artists have placed in the annual contest following CF alumni Alyx Brimacomb’s first runner-up placing at the contest last year.

Not only does she have the honor of recognition, but Burken also had the opportunity to meet Congressman Rod Blum and won two plane tickets to Washington, D.C. She will travel alongside her dad, and they plan to visit many of Washington’s national museums during their trip.

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