WOODVILLE – U.S. Congressman Brian Babin (R-Woodville) hosted a virtual awards reception on Saturday, with the students and families who participated in the 36th Congressional District’s Congressional Art Competition. This year’s theme was “Memories of the Battleship Texas.”
Lily Grace Niemann, a sophomore at Niemann Christian Academy in Woodville, was the first-place winner of the contest.
Her artwork titled “Remembering the Texas: A Glimpse of Glory,” depicting the Battleship Texas at the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, will be displayed in the United States Capitol Building for an entire year.
“I applaud each of the students who overcame the school disruptions caused by COVID-19 to participate in this year’s Congressional Art Competition,” said Babin. “Every piece submitted was unique and beautiful. I’m always proud to see artwork from Southeast Texas as I pass by the national exhibit in the U.S. Capitol. Holding the virtual art competition reception on June 6 – the 76th anniversary of D-Day – worked very well with this year’s theme since the Battleship Texas contributed greatly to the Allied victory achieved at Normandy, France those many years ago. I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all who took the time to compete and offer a special congratulations to our 2020 winner, Lily.”
Karen Fiscus, Exhibitions Coordinator for the University of Houston – Clear Lake Art Gallery and lead juror in TX-36th’s 2020 Congressional Art Competition, shared the following quote from arts educator Kelly Pollock with the students: “The true purpose of arts education is not necessarily to create more professional dancers or artists. It’s to create more complete human beings who are critical thinkers, who have curious minds, who can lead productive lives.”
Along with Niemann’s win, other nearby students won awards, including Emalee Springfield of Livingston, who won second place; third-place winner Skylar Rutherford of Kirbyville and honorable mentions Gabriella Landrum and Madelyn Landrum, both also from Kirbyville.