[KHTS] – Golden Valley High freshman Jennifer Kong, 14, of Santa Clarita, earned first place Wednesday in the2014 Congressional Art Competition, hosted by FastFRAME Valencia.
The soft-spoken teen quietly thanked the judges, KHTS-AM 1220 and Southwest Airlines, which is providing her a free flight to the Capitol to see her artwork on display at the Cannon Tunnel, after learning she won the award.
Her winning piece, a white charcoal on black paper titled “The Tea Set,” seemed an apt subject choice for the thoughtful, smiling young girl.
“I chose to do the tea set because I enjoy the tones of the piece,” Kong said, noting the tea set featured a Korean symbol for meditation.
The choice of a Korean tea set was also a proud reflection of her Korean-American roots.
The teen’s charcoal drawing, which took her a little over a week to complete, won out over 24 pieces from students throughout Congressman Buck McKeon’s 25th Congressional District seat.
Shannon Faltys earned second place for “Ferocious Beauty,” a colorful tiger portrayal with intricate lines and impressive color. Alexandra Curiel took third place for her self-portrait called “A Piano and a Tutu.” The Quartz Hill High junior painted a ballerina dancing across giant piano keys because “I dance and I play piano, and music is the base of my life — it’s symbolic.”
Crisanta Kempton earned fourth place and Mikaela Gilkey, a Valencia High School freshman took fifth place for “The Culture in My Veins.”
A colorful self-portrait, Gilkey said it was also a tribute to her heritage.
“It’s portraying me: The headdress is Filipino and the Day of the Dead makeup is Hispanic,” she said.
“I just wanted to put as much of me into it as possible,” she said of the oil on wood painting.
While only the winning piece is flown to the Capitol, the other pieces were on display at the FastFRAME and will also be displayed at the Old Town Newhall Library.
“We love to provide an opportunity for our young people here,” said Valencia FastFRAME owner Randy Burzynski. “Rosemarie and I participate in all the nonprofits that we possibly can, but this is a very special event because it’s for the young people.”
The finalists and their parents and teachers were on hand at the Valencia FastFRAME in the Kohl’s shopping center off McBean Parkway on Wednesday as the winners were announced.
“This is a great partnership with FastFRAME,” said Heather Duncan, district representative for Congressman Buck McKeon. “It’s a joy and a great experience to give back to high school kids in this district a chance to showcase their talent, passion and ambition.”
The event was an effort that counted several businesses acting as community partners, officials said.
“We’ve been involved for 13 years, and we really look forward to coming to this competition,” said Niko Dible of Southwest Airlines. “Any time we can get kids to the Capitol to see their artwork, I mean, it’s exciting for them, and it’s exciting for us to be a part of it.”