National stage for Nonnewaug artist Student’s work off to Washington D.C.
WATERBURY – Nonnewaug High School sophomore Shannon Rupar will soon have her artwork on display at the nation’s capital.
Rupar was honored Saturday at the fifth Congressional Art Competition reception at the Mattatuck Museum. Rupar’s water colored painting entitled “Farmers Market” won first place and it will be featured for one year at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
She will attend a reception in Washington alongside winners from across the country.
“There is some really incredibly talent here in the 5th District,” said U.S. Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty, who hosted Saturday’s event.
Rupar said her piece was an assignment for her art class, which captured a basket filled with red grapes, artichokes, apples and several heads of garlic. Rupar said Nonnewaug, being an agricultural high school, inspired the composition of her piece.
Second-place winner Benjamin Eckstein, 16, of Housatonic Valley High School, will have his work displayed in Esty’s office at the state capitol and third- place winner Charit Charitabutra of Wilby High School in Waterbury will have his work displayed at Esty’s office in New Britain.
A total of 116 art pieces were entered into the competition. Since the competition’s inception in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated in the contest.
Last year’s first-place winner, Molly Humphreys of Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, received this year’s honorable mention for her colored charcoal piece named “Stage Lights in a New Light.” Her piece will be hung in the Mattatuck Museum for a year.
This year’s entries were judged by Robert J. Burns, museum director, Heather Whitehouse, director of education at the museum, and local artist Christian Cesari, who is known for his abstract landscape pieces.
“I’m very impressed with the work that is coming out of these high schools,” said Meghan Malcolm, manager of youth and family programs at the museum. “The students are experimenting with a variety of mediums that you wouldn’t see until the college level. These students have true passion.”