Inderkum Student Wins Congressional Art Contest

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Sarah Allen with Congresswoman Doris Matsui at the annual Congressional Art Competition. / Photo: C. Allen

BY TRINA DROTAR
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

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Photo: M. Townsend

When Sarah Allen photographed Luvensky Victor in Haiti, she did not know it was inspire an award-winning portrait.

“Luvensky” won first prize in the 34th annual California District 6 Congressional Art Competition last month.

Allen’s drawing was one of 45 entries showcased in an art show hosted by Congresswoman Doris Matsui at the Crocker Art Museum. Work was submitted by more than 40 students from 10 different schools in the Sacramento area.

The portrait was the result of an assignment by Allen’s art teacher  at Inderkum High School. “Luvensky” is her first portrait and the competition was the first she’s entered.

“We had an assignment to do a portrait and I decided that since I liked how his picture turned out, I decided to paint that boy from Haiti. And then my teacher liked it, and he asked if I wanted to put it in the competition,” said Allen, 16.

Allen’s portrait was traditionally rendered using pastel pencil, but her choice of substrate was not. She chose to draw on wood purchased from a local home improvement store.

“I got the idea of using pastel pencils on wood from an artist that my mom had showed me – Ivan Hoo,” she said. Allen said that she likes the way the wood grain interplays with the boy’s image and plans to continue to use wood canvas in her artwork.

The high schooler said she cropped the image to focus on the boy’s eyes

“They’re really deep,” she said of the eyes.

“Luvensky” will hang in the Cannon tunnel, a connector route between the U.S. Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C., for one year.

Allen and her family plan to travel to Washington D.C. where they will tour the U.S. Capitol building and attend a June 24 reception for all first-place Congressional Art Competition award recipients.