Capital Creation

CLYMER – A Clymer Central School student will be seeing her artwork on display in Washington, D.C., later this month.

As the winner of the 2013 Congressional Art Competition for the district of U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, Megan Clark, a sophomore, will be visiting the nation’s capital on June 26 for an awards ceremony.

The piece will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel, which is connected to the U.S. Capitol Building, along with more than 400 other winning entries representing each congressional district in the nation. Entitled “One Way,” Megan’s piece consists of digital alterations made to a photograph that was taken of street signs at the intersection of Second and Main streets in Jamestown-which is coincidentally situated in front of Reed’s Jamestown office.

Megan’s art piece was created for a blending modes assignment in her digital photography class. Megan said being selected as a winner for the competition came as a surprise.

“It’s pretty awesome, I wasn’t expecting to win anything,” she said.

The winning entry was submitted to the competition by Cheryl Burk, high school art teacher at Clymer, who teaches Megan in her digital photography and JCC drawing classes.

“I submitted two of Megan’s works: one was a very traditional drawing and the other was (‘One Way’),” said Burk, indicating that Megan originally wanted to submit her drawing only. “We chose (‘One Way’) because it was done very uniquely as far as the angle (of the photograph), the subject matter, the blending modes, and the Photoshop techniques. There are five photo techniques that I stress in everything the students shoot, and it really encompassed all of them.”

Although she wasn’t home to receive it personally, a phone call from Reed to her mother confirmed that Megan had been the competition winner for his district.

On Friday, Megan then had an opportunity to speak with Reed in person when he came to Clymer to meet, converse and take a photo with her. While visiting, Reed congratulated Megan and asked about her interest in art, as well as her plans for the future. He also got to see some of the artwork produced by Megan and other students in the JCC drawing class.

“You did a great job,” Reed told Megan. “So, I wanted to come down and personally offer my congratulations to you.”

“It’s great to come here to Clymer, and celebrate a great young individual such as Megan and her talents,” he told The Post-Journal. “It just reminds me that there are bright stars throughout this next generation, and we’re going to be just fine because there’s a lot that they have to offer. And we just want to recognize and appreciate that.”

The Congressional Art Competition is hosted by the Congressional Institute each spring. Since it began in 1982, the competition has seen more than 650,000 high school students participate. This year’s winning entries will be on display at the U.S. Capitol Building’s Cannon Tunnel for the duration of one year.