Young area artists awarded by 18th District Representative

By Beau Ebenezer

April 13, 2013 Updated Apr 13, 2013 at 10:12 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- About 150 student art works were put on display by students throughout the 18th Congressional District Saturday morning.

It was part of the 32nd Annual Congressional Art Show and Competition.

Runners up received "top ten" awards, while Havana High School student, Kimberlee Parker, received a big surprise, as she was awarded the overall competition winner by U.S. Representative, Aaron Schock.

"I was happy I was in the top ten, but I didn't know I was going to win," said Parker. "Like they said, it was my first piece, so I am really happy I did win."

Parker's watercolor painting, entitled, "Late Again", was her first watercolor painting, which took her about two weeks to complete.

Now, her artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for one year and she will be invited to a reception in Washington D.C. this summer.

Congressman Schock says the purpose of the competition is to stress the importance of art programs in schools, which many times are in jeopardy of being cut.

"So often in our communities the arts community gets overlooked, and it's very vibrant here in the 18th district," said Schock. "This is the next generation of artists that are coming up through our school system."

20 area high schools participated in this year's event, lighting the way for many young art careers.

Even the Top 10 have a chance to show off their work in Washington.

All of the finalist have the choice to put their work up in Congressman Schock's personal office.

"My teachers were like Rachel you made Top 10 in the Congressional Art Show," said Washington High School student, Rachel Auth. "My first reaction was like what? I just put my hands over my face and screamed what!"

All of the artwork was was voted on by five area judges.

Parker's overall winning piece will be on display in Washington with the rest of the nation's top young artists.

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