Local students win district art show

Top award includes national display

Jane Reuter
Rock Canyon High School senior Tessa Johnson stands next to her award-winning work, "Humorous Side of Life," moments before winning top honors for the piece at the Lone Tree Golf Clubhouse April 22.
Jane Reuter
Rock Canyon High School junior Erin Riner, right, talks with Congressman Cory Gardner about her award-winning piece, "My Brother" (above Gardner), at the Lone Tree Golf Club April 22.
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Rock Canyon High School senior Tessa Johnson finally will gain the recognition that slipped through her artistic fingers in 2013. For the second year in a row, Johnson was named winner of the Colorado 4th Congressional District high school arts competition during an April 22 ceremony at the Lone Tree Golf Clubhouse.

Last year, Johnson also won the coveted spot, but because her artwork depicted a famous likeness that prompted concerns about copyright infringement, it wasn't displayed at the nation's capitol.

This year's winning piece, created with newspaper and acrylic paint, depicts a laughing man's face and is titled “Humorous Side of Life.” And with no questions of likeness in her work, Johnson and her mom will now make the trip to Washington, D.C., to see her mixed media work on display at the U.S. Capitol, where it will hang for a year.

“It's my last high school art show, so I'm really excited,” Tessa Johnson said after learning she'd won again.

After taking a June trip to Washington with her mother Lisa for the national ceremony and the opening of the 2014 display, Tessa plans to attend the Art Institute of Chicago.

RCHS junior Erin Riner also won recognition for her work, “My Brother.” She received the Congressman's choice award, given by Congressman Cory Gardner.

Castle View High School's Rannen Worsley received third place and $100 for another entry.

Gardner handed awards and certificates to students from throughout the district who participated in the event.

The Lone Tree ceremony was part of a nationwide high school arts competition sponsored by members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.