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Woodbury High School took top three spots in art contest

Art students from Woodbury High School made a clean sweep in a congressional art competition.

Three students took the top three places in the contest, with senior Chris Thorvaldson, who was the overall winner, receiving the honor of having his work hung in Washington, D. C. for a year.

His artwork, which is entitled "Shattered" and depicts a fragmented image of Miami Dolphins player Ricky Williams, will be displayed in a tunnel which runs from the U.S. Capitol to the Cannon House office building in Washington.

"I was surprised," said Thorvaldson, describing how he felt when he heard he'd won the contest. "I knew it was a good picture and I worked hard on it, but I didn't know it was going to win."

The competition is a national one, which sees artwork submitted by students in each of the 435 congressional districts in the U.S.

A panel of art professionals then selects the top three works of art, with the overall winner from each district being sent to Washington for the year, and being hung in the busy tunnel connecting the two buildings.

Thorvaldson will be attending Hamline University in the fall and plans to study psychology, but says he won't be leaving his art behind.

"In college there are only so many classes I can take in psychology," he explained.

"In my extra classes, I would like to take some drawing classes. It's just fun to do once in a while."

As part of his prize, Thorvaldson also picked up a $5,000 scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, based in Atlanta, Ga., but says he had already committed to Hamline before being awarded the scholarship and so will not be able to use it.

Woodbury High art students Miles Wagensteen and Brenna Coyne took second and third place in Minnesota's sixth congressional district competition.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said, "The congressional art competition is a chance to showcase the creativity and brilliance of the young artistic minds in our community -- and the work that was submitted truly was both creative and brilliant...

"Woodbury [High School] swept the competition and the achievements of these students is a great credit to their community."