Local high school student wins Congressional Art Competition

"Artemis, Goddess of Wild Animals" is a chalk pastel portrait by Charity King...
"Artemis, Goddess of Wild Animals" is a chalk pastel portrait by Charity King depicting a soft and affectionate embrace between a woman and a young goat. (Charity King)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 4:42 PM CDT
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A local high schooler is the winner of the 2020 Congressional Art Competition for the Second Congressional District of Florida.

Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02) announced Tuesday the winner as Charity King of Marianna High School, who titled her piece "Artemis, Goddess of Wild Animals."

“Each year, I’m amazed by the talented young artists we have in the Second District. Charity’s artwork is one that all Americans can connect with. Florida’s 2nd District is home to a thriving agricultural industry and this artwork reflects our deeply held family farm experience. Charity’s painting encapsulates gentleness, warmth, and peace. With the chaotic year we’ve had thus far, I find her work reassuring and inspiring,” said Dr. Dunn. “I look forward to seeing her artwork hanging in the Capitol for visitors from across the country to see. This decision could not have been easy for the judges. I’m proud of every participant and I encourage you all to keep expressing your artistic visions that inspire all of us, including those who don’t share your artistic ability. Now, more than ever we need your creativity and insights.”

Dr. Dunn's office says more than 20 submissions were entered this year from across the district and the competition was judged by local art professionals.

Coming in second place was another Marianna High School student, Meagan Pelham. Her painting was titled "Me and My Chevy." The third place winner was Julia C. Hudson of Lawton Chiles High School with her sketch titled "At His Feet." Honorable mention was awarded to another Marianna High School student, Gracie Shields for her pastel and watercolor piece titled "Vintage Allure."

“I am speechless and extremely grateful to have been given this honor," King said. "Thank you to Congressman Neal Dunn for his support and to my art teacher, Dr. Jerri Benton, for pushing me to be my best. Moving around a lot as a child and growing up in another country where English was not the primary language never allowed me the opportunity to make many friends. However, we were always surrounded by animals, which brought me a sense of peace. My artwork, 'Artemis, Goddess of Wild Animals,' is meant to reflect that feeling.”

“Charity is a quiet, unassuming young lady who is passionate about her artwork and works diligently to improve her skills. It was a joyous moment to share Charity’s reaction to Congressman Dunn’s phone call telling her about her win. She immediately shed tears of joy and my heart jumped with joy right along with hers,” Marianna High School Art Teacher Dr. Jerri Benton said.

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