Student work submitted to 5th Congressional district art competition

Art shows highlight student strengths, allows recognition


Used with permission. Artwork by senior Muna Ahmed titled "Shadow"

Yonah Davis

According to art teacher Martha Ortman she submitted the artwork of two of her students Matt Loftus (junior) and Muna Ahmed (senior) to the annual 5th congressional district art competition.

What is the competition students submitted their art to?

The 5th Congressional district art competition is put on every year by the current 5th Congressional district representative. This year it is Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Are there any requirements to submit art for this competition?

“It can be any medium, it just has to be smaller than a particular size requirements. Two students per teacher are able to participate.”

What is the prize for the art competition?

“Third place would hang in Rep. Omar’s office in Minneapolis for a year, second place would hang in her office in Washington DC and the first place hangs in a hallway in Washington D.C. where everybody can see all of them.”

Used with permission. Artwork by Junior Matt Loftus titled “Baby Mullet”

What is the process for submitting student work to these competitions?

“From the beginning of the year until we start putting things in art shows, if we get a really good artwork from a student or a photograph, or a mixed media or a paining, we try to hold on to it so that we have a pool to choose from when it comes time to submit students artwork to one of the shows.”

How do you choose which student work to submit?

“What we try to do is submit the ones that we feel best meet the requirements of the art show and best have some kind of message or feeling or emotion that is evoked when you look at them. That would do the best in an art show because it’s not just an art show, it’s a competition, so it’s not just, ‘here’s some stuff that’s pretty,’ but we want it to be better than other students.”

What is the value of art shows for the students and community?

“For some kids, art is something they excel at and they might not get accolades or they might not do well in other classes. It shows that there is more out there than just playing with paint. When they go to the art show there is always a speaker that talks about their profession as an artist and that you can make money at it, it’s a viable profession. It’s not necessarily the most certain profession so it shows them that there is possibility for making money as an artist, and gets them aware of things outside of school and maybe they get recognized for something and it leads someplace else.”