OHS student a Congressional Art winner

Apr 15, 2014
“Salmon,” a color pencil drawing by Oceanside High School student Elena Laustsen, will hang at the Capitol in Washington.

Washington, D.C — U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) announced April 15 that Elena Laustsen, a junior at Oceanside High School East in Rockland, has won the 2014 Congressional Art Competition for Maine’s First District with her color pencil drawing, “Salmon.” The announcement came just a few days after a photograph by Laustsen received an Honorable Mention in the annual “Maine Photography Show.”

“The quality of work that Maine students produce for this competition is always impressive — and this year was no exception.  I’m very proud to have Elena’s lovely study of a salmon represent our District at the Capitol.  It says a lot about the wildlife and natural places that make our state unique,” said Pingree.

She also offered thanks and congratulations to all the students who participated this year, the art teachers who fostered their talent and the Maine Arts Commission for coordinating the annual competition. Elena’s parents are Cindy and Erik Laustsen.

Competition jurors said they appreciated Laustsen’s drawing’s strong composition, sense of light and technical quality. They also thought it spoke well of Maine and felt viewers could easily connect to the subject matter.

The judges also recognized the work of four other First District students: first runner-up Caitlyn Duffy of Gorham; second runner-up Veronica Jones of Readfield; and honorable mentions Elizabeth Brown of Manchester and Theresa Gervais of Chelsea.

Held each year, the Congressional Art Competition features one piece of student artwork from every participating Congressional District in the country. Maine’s winners, chosen by jurors selected by the Maine Arts Commission, will have their work displayed in the halls of the U.S. Capitol for a year. First-place winners will travel to Washington, courtesy of private sponsors, to participate in an opening ceremony in June. Winners and runners-up will be honored at a Blaine House reception in May.

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, more than 700,000 high school students have competed for the honor of having their work shown in the U.S. Capitol.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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