Friday, June 23, 2017 This Week's Paper

Arts & Entertainment: Local student receives prestigious Congressional art award

Bellarmine Preparatory School senior Anya Evans is the 2012 winner of the 6th Congressional District Art Competition. A panel of local art educators chose her digital print, titled “Reflection,” as the winner from among other entries by local high school students. For this annual competition, members of Congress invite young people from coast to coast to showcase their artistic ability.

Evans’ “Reflection,” along with the artworks of the other winners across the country, will be on view for one year in Washington, D.C. in the corridor that leads from the House office buildings into the U.S. Capitol.

“When I first found out that I had won the contest I was very surprised,” Evans said, in part because it took a second look at the image before she sensed its potential and decided to submit it to the competition. “At first I didn’t think much about the picture, but…I started enhancing the color and it became one of my favorites.”

She said it was a clear and bright winter afternoon when she took the shot at the Museum of Glass’ reflecting pool. “It was a very sunny day so the sculpture and even the sky are reflected on the water. I chose this image because it is so different from all the other types of photos that I have ever taken. I wanted to see what other people would think of the image.”

She credits her teacher Ben Meeker at Bellarmine for his role in her taking first place. “He told me about the art competition and he helped me to choose which picture to submit.”

Each year members of Congress hold contests within their districts to choose winning pieces of art by high school students. Here in Tacoma, Congressman Norm Dicks sponsors the 6th Congressional District’s participation in the competition.

Dicks noted how Evans’ print stood out from the rest of the entries his office received. “I was impressed again this year by the enormous creativity we saw in all of the submissions and particularly by Anya’s sharp eye for detail in composing the print. I am proud to see her artwork on display representing the 6th District each time I walk into the Capitol.”

All the contest winners were flown to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony and unveiling of the art display. Evans said she enjoyed her trip to D.C., including visiting Dicks’ office and touring the Capitol building. “It was fun to be able to meet and talk with some of the other winners,” she said.

Evans expresses her artistic talents in other forms as well in pottery and fabric design, and she markets some of her functional works of art around town. “Anya has a real entrepreneurial drive,” says her mom Deidre Evans. “I am very proud of her.” Her daughter also volunteers as a teen staff member at the Boys and Girls Club, where she helps with the art classes.

Deidre Evans described how, at the age of 14, Anya started her own business designing, creating and selling tote bags to family and friends. Over the past three years her collection has grown to include custom make-up bags that she sells online and at two popular shops in Proctor District – Pacific Northwest Shop (2702 N. Proctor St.) and Old House Mercantile (2717 N. Proctor St.). Her grandparents, Bill and Ann Evans, own these shops, which inspires their granddaughter to perhaps follow in their footsteps one day.

“Growing up around them, I have wanted to have my own (store) ever since I was very young; I would love to open my own store one day,” Anya Evans said. “When I go to college, I would like to get my entrepreneur business degree with a minor in photography.”