U-Times

Student’s artwork recognized on national level

Julian Albright, Web Editor

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Just weeks before her graduation on May 14, Ashlynn Jenkins, senior, won first place in the national Congressional Art Competition, an art competition in which high school students submit their artwork to their local House Representatives.

Jenkins submitted her piece to the office of Rep. William Lacy Clay’s and it was judged by a panel of artists from his district. Clay represents Missouri’s First Congressional District

In her painting, Jenkins depicts the the past African-American leader and Civil Rights advocate, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jenkins said that she was purposely dripping the paint to create an atmosphere around King’s face. She intended to symbolize how King drained himself to better society, and “all the blood he shed so that people could move forward.”

Clearly, the painting spoke to the judges.

“It feels surreal to actually win,” Jenkins said. “I entered art last year but it was recognized with no prize. I just think it’s crazy, of all the people, and all my fellow student, I actually did it. I won.”

Winning the competition involves a reception on May 11 at the St. Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA), and then a trip to the nation’s capital. In D.C., Jenkins will attend a reception, joined by the other winners from around the country. On June 27, Jenkins’ painting will be hung in the Rayburn House Office Building for one year.

Marnie Claunch, art teacher, oversaw Jenkins throughout the competition.

“I am so very proud of Ashlynn and feel she is most deserving of winning this award,” Claunch said. “[Ashlynn] has explored and become quite skilled working with paint, graphite, pastel, ink, fibers, printmaking, and sculpture.”

As the date to hang the painting approaches, Jenkins’ is filled with joy.

“I’m so excited for it to be displayed, I get two free plane tickets to Washington D.C. so I can see it getting hung up and I’m stoked.”

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