Fillmore Central student wins congressional art competition

This artwork by Daniel Erickson of Fillmore Central will be on display in Washington, D.C., as a result of winning the First Congressional Art Competition. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Daniel Erickson, a junior at Fillmore Central High School, is the winner of this year’s First District Congressional Art Competition, announced Rep Tim Walz Monday. 

In his winning art piece, “My Best Work,” Erickson used pencil and colored pencil on paper to create a centered grand piano surrounded by colored swirls at the top. Around the piano is a snare drum, a trumpet and a guitar. At the top reaches of the swirls are the portraits of musicians including Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, Elton John, Ray Charles and Billy Joel.

Erickson and a guest are invited to an awards ceremony in Washington, DC.  Until recently, Erickson’s “My Best Work” and all the other contestants’ works were on display in the downtown Rochester Skyway located just east of the DoubleTree Hotel, also known as the “Art in the Sky” display. Soon, Erickson’s winning piece will join an 11-month exhibit in the Cannon Tunnel that leads to the U.S. Capitol throughout next year.

Erickson’s art teacher at Fillmore Central is Carrie Mathison.

Other winners from the First District were Laura Schmidt, Rochester Alternative Learning Center, second place, and Tyler Tufte, Austin High School, third place. The second and third place winners’ artworks will be displayed in Walz’s Rochester and Mankato district offices.

 “First, I’d like to thank all the First District high school students who submitted their art work this year,” said Walz. “I don’t know what’s more inspiring — your participation or your artwork! Second, thank you to all the teachers and artists who judged this year’s artwork. Yet again, your expertise was invaluable to this competition.”

This unique competition provides the opportunity to showcase the artistic talent of southern Minnesota students and acknowledge the nation’s gifted young artists.  Each year, students from all 50 states share their view of the surrounding world, their aspirations, and curiosity through art.

Initiated by members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, the event is a nationwide annual art competition that allows high school students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories to showcase their artistic ability.