Remaining to ideal: Aaron Bower, Congressman Scott Franklin, Leah Baker, Dr. Alex Loaded and Principal Gary Graham celebrate Baker’s accomplishment.

By Lily Belcher

On Might 10, Durant Substantial University sophomore Leah Baker was regarded for her portray, Rocket Pup, which she created in memory of her doggy, Rocky, an American bulldog, who not long ago passed absent.

The painting was submitted to the Congressional Artwork Levels of competition and picked by the curator of the Polk Museum of Art, Dr. Alex Wealthy, and Congressman Scott Franklin as the very best artwork piece submitted in Florida’s 15th congressional district. As component of the recognition, Rocket Pup will dangle in the hallway of Congress in Washington D.C. for the up coming 12 months.

The Congressional Artwork Levels of competition was began in 1982 to understand the achievements of high faculty college students throughout the country every spring. The artists need to follow the specific dimensions and weight suggestions and post their pieces to their representative’s business office to be judged by a panel of district artists.

“Winning actually suggests a lot to me for the reason that of how content it created my father that Rocky’s portrait is going to be hung in Congress,” claimed Baker.

Baker focused the portrait in memory of her pet dog to her father.

“My father was Rocky’s most loved man or woman,” described Baker. “After he died, I didn’t really know how to comfort and ease my dad any other way besides by artwork.”

The summary piece capabilities patriotic features, these types of as the title, which signifies the fireworks shot off on Independence Day each individual summer months, as perfectly as the shades from the American flag. She chose to make the piece patriotic to further more devote her work to her father, who has labored for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Workplace for 25 yrs.

As she built the piece, she was guided by Durant’s 2D art teacher, Aaron Bowers, who has taught her for the very last two decades. Baker defined that Bowers was incredibly enthusiastic for her and she was grateful for his support.

“Aesthetically, it was quite nice to seem at. It was well balanced [and] experienced vivid colors. She has tales guiding it, so it experienced actual this means,” claimed Bowers. “It’s a large honor. That actuality that she won was fascinating, to say the minimum.”

For extra information about the Congressional Artwork Level of competition or to look at the other winning parts, go to household.gov/educators-and-learners/congressional-art-levels of competition.