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WHS students awarded in Congressional Art Competition

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Every young artist dreams of having their artwork on display in some form.

"Having your parents see it is one thing," Woodbury High School sophomore Elise Salas said, "but having others see it is something completely different."

Salas and WHS junior Jenna Penticoff will definitely have the opportunity for others to see their artwork since both girls have been named winners in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.

Three pieces of artwork were chosen to represent the 4th Congressional District.

Penticoff received second place for her photograph and Salas took third with her drawing.

"It sounds really official to me," Penticoff said. "When I entered, I was thinking if I get this then that's a really big deal, this means something."

"The word Congressional comes across as pretty prestigious," Salas said.

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL-Minn., awarded the winners representing her district.

Penticoff's photograph will be on display for a year in the 4th Congressional Washington D.C. office. Salas' drawing will be on display for a year in Congresswoman McCollum's St. Paul office.

"My artwork isn't going to be just in Minnesota," Penticoff said. "My art is in D.C. and that's really cool to think about."

Both girls also had their artwork featured at the Landmark Gallery in the Schmidt Artist Lofts during the Spring 2016 St. Paul Art Crawl.

This contest was open to all public and private high school students who live in the 4th Congressional District.

"I was pretty surprised actually," Salas said. "I've never entered an art contest and won something, so I'm pretty proud of myself."

Award-winning art

The photograph for which Penticoff won depicts her young cousin looking outside a window.

"It was a candid shot that I took a while back at our family reunion," she said. "She looked adorable, so I snapped a picture and I had no idea that it would be so good — it was just an in-the-moment photo."

Salas' drawing is of a distorted face with ripples in the background.

"I just love the actual motion of drawing," she said. "I like finding new ways to connect the background to the foreground."

Both Penticoff and Salas said they are excited for others to see their artwork.

"I like showing people what I can do," Penticoff said. "I don't really do much else.

"People are always talking about sports, but our art department is pretty great too and to be able to show that is pretty cool."

Salas and Penticoff will also have their artwork on display during this week's All School Art Show at WHS.

Art on display

WHS' annual All School Art Show will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the school's cafeteria.

More than 1,000 pieces of art will be on display.

"Once again filling that cafeteria with over a thousand works of art will be something we will do," WHS art teacher Karen Seashore said. "This is a tradition we've been doing for quite a while and we're excited."

The art show will feature painting, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, drawing and everything in between.

Additionally, ceramics pieces will also be available for purchase as a way to raise money for the school's ceramics program.

Artwork will be awarded prizes by three judges during an awards banquet following the show.

"It's our favorite show because everybody gets to be featured," Seashore said. "Lots of attention goes out to other areas in our school, but it's really exciting for teachers to come and see the amazing work our students are creating that they otherwise would never have known."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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