By TEDDYE SNELL
Tahlequah High School sophomore Brooke Hunter is no stranger to fame in the art world, and she recently added another feather to her cap.
Hunter’s colored pencil pieces – “The Artist” and “Skate” – have been selected as first- and fourth-place winners, respectively, in the Congressional Art Competition. “The Artist” will now hang in the U.S. Capitol Complex for a year.
Hunter was honored during a ceremony Tuesday at Northeastern State University-Muskogee.
“It is amazing to be chosen,” said Hunter. “It’s really nice to be recognized for my work; it’s really encouraging.”
Hunter’s two entries were among 217 entered in the contest. According to Shivani Chase, one of Hunter’s art teachers at THS, 18 schools were represented, with the furthest north being from Miami, Wyandotte, Quapaw and Welch.
“The judges commented that this was not only the 2nd District’s largest competition, but the strongest, too,” said Chase.
While her pencil drawings have won a number of awards, Hunter doesn’t put limits on her creativity.
“I like using all mediums,” said Hunter. “I’ve always liked to draw, but I began competing in the sixth grade, and that started everything.”
Hunter took Best of Show at the Cherokee County Student Art Show in 2009, and competed with high school seniors for the award. She entered “The Artist” in the 2012 Cherokee County Student Art Show, and placed second in her division.
“I enjoy taking art classes with both [Shivani] Chase and [Tony] Amason,” said Hunter. “Mrs. Chase is the one who showed me the entry form for the Congressional Art Competition.”
Hunter’s work was also selected among the top 10 for publication in “Celebrating Art,” a national anthology of high school students’ artwork, in 2012, when she was a freshman.
“The contact I have [with ‘Celebrating Art.com’] said only 25 percent of over 3,000 submissions were selected for publication,” said Amason. “And now, Brooke’s work will hang in the Capitol. It’s very exciting.”
Hunter has yet to decide on a solid career path, but believes her art will play a strong part in her decision. She is the daughter of Sylvia and Lance Hunter of Tahlequah.
“Art is definitely something I’d like to continue with in the future, though,” she said. “And it’s so important to compete. That’s what I would tell aspiring artists, ‘Keep trying and enter competitions. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll still get recognition.’”
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage young artists in each congressional district. According to www.house.gov, since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.
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