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Sophomore places at Congressional Art Contest

Portrait to be hung in governmental office

Mari+Hanchi+smiles+next+to+her+art+at+The+Congressional+Art+Competition+on+April+23.+She+won+second+place+for+her+artwork.
Mari Hanchi smiles next to her art at The Congressional Art Competition on April 23. She won second place for her artwork.

Mari Hanchi smiles next to her art at The Congressional Art Competition on April 23. She won second place for her artwork.

Noah Deetz

Noah Deetz

Mari Hanchi smiles next to her art at The Congressional Art Competition on April 23. She won second place for her artwork.

Nietzsche Deuel

Sophomore Mari Hanchi was awarded second place for her pencil portrait of Shirley Chisholm in the Fifth District Congressional Art Contest, April 23. According to Hanchi she was grateful for the award and felt through it she brings light to Chisholm’s societal contributions.

“I didn’t really expect to get anything. It wasn’t for myself, it was for a school project. By doing the portrait of Shirley Chisholm, she got the attention she deserved,” Hanchi said. “I was really grateful.”

Hanchi said her drawing was of an important African American figure who was involved with politics.

“It was a portrait of Shirley Chisholm the first African American [woman] to be elected to Congress. She was also the first African American to run for president for a major democratic party,” Hanchi said.

According to art teacher Martha Ortman, Hanchi’s drawing will be hung in a governmental office for one year.

“Mari’s piece will being hanging in Keith Ellison’s office in Washington DC for one year because she got second place,” Ortman said.

Community representative Nicky Leingang said the event was an annual art contest held for high school students in the Fifth District by representative Keith Ellison.  

According to the Leingang, the contest is judged on skill and creativity by experts on art.

“(Ellison) partners with a number of art professionals and curators from around the Twin Cities metro to help judge the art submitted,” Leingang said. “Then, at the end of April, the judges get together and announce our decisions on who had the best technical skill and creativity.”

Hanchi said she chose Chisholm not just because of the specifications of the project but also because she felt Chisholm deserved more attention.

“It was for a class, the teacher said it had to be an African American who was not recognized as they should have been,” Hanchi said. “I was looking through a list of people and found her. I think she should be more well known and appreciated for what she did.”

Ortman said she has submitted art to the contest the last four years but had never had a student who placed as high as second.

“This art show has been going on for five years and I don’t know I did it my first year, this is my fifth year here, and we’ve submitted art the last four years,” Ortman said. “The first two years we submitted art but didn’t place and last year we got third. So getting second place this year is pretty cool”

According to Leingang, he enjoys setting up the contest because the art submitted and displayed is inspirational.

“There’s so many fun elements. I am most inspired by the quality of artwork the students submit. Every year I am just blown away by the talent of high school students from our district,” Leingang said.

Leingang said he appreciates the event because it brings the community together and provides the opportunity to speak with the young artists.

“It’s a really amazing opportunity to not just hang up the art and provide refreshments and gather the community but also for Keith and me and other staff members to talk to the artists about what inspired their work,” Leingang said.

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Sophomore places at Congressional Art Contest