Congressional Art Competition

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COLUMBIA - U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R- Harrisonville announced the winner of her annual congressional art competition Saturday afternoon.  

15-year old Ella Bowles took home first place with an acrylic painting titled “America Hometown.” Bowles said the photo is based off of a picture she took of Ash Street in Columbia.

“It was actually an assignment in my art class to do an architecture thing,” Bowles said. “So, a lot of the students were going out to take pictures of house and I took this picture and then when I heard about the competition I decided to paint it so that it would fit the theme.”

Bowles said her art teacher at Hickman High School helped her come with ways for her to make the picture fit with the theme for this year’s competition, ‘There’s No Place Like Home.”

“She helped me come up with ideas for things to add,” Bowles said. “She helped me with the colors on it and she just helped me compose the overall piece. The lemonade sign was her idea and we just thought it would make it feel more like a neighborhood thing.”

Rep. Hartzler said she seeing the pieces of art students in her congressional district submit each year.

“It is really exciting to see all of the amazing pieces of artwork submitted from students in the Fourth congressional district,” Hartzler said. “These young people are really gifted and I wanted to encourage them today to continue to use their gifts to brighten the world and to share their gift and talents with others.”

The different pieces of art were on display Saturday afternoon in the Sidney Olson Gallery at Columbia College.

Bowles’ painting will now be taken to Washington D.C. where it will be hung up in the corridor between the Capital building and the House office buildings. This summer, Bowles will get to fly free of charge to the nation’s capital to see her artwork hanging.

“I didn’t expect to win so it is kind of unbelievable,” Bowles said. “It’s pretty crazy that it is going to be in the capital building.”

Hartzler said she is looking forward to seeing Bowles in Washington.

“It is exciting for them and it is certainly rewarding for me to have them come,” Hartzler said. “It is exciting to get to introduce them to some of my fellow members of Congress and to show them the wonderful piece of artwork coming from right here in Missouri’s Fourth District."

The second and third place paintings, as well as the people's choice award winner, will be displayed in Rep. Hartzler’s offices in Washington D.C. and Missouri.