Wagner wins congressional art competition

Lauren Wagner

Wes Locher | The Star Lauren Wagner’s winning painting, “Boat in the Ocean.”

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM.

Lauren Wagner, a sophomore at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School won this year’s Congressional Art Competition for her watercolor painting, “Boat in the Ocean.”

Originally painted for a classroom assignment to express Florida through paint, art teacher Julie Hodges enjoyed the vivid colors of the piece and submitted it to the competition.

“I was shocked,” said Wagner of her win. “I didn’t expect it.”

For her win, Wagner received a free trip to Washington D.C. in June to see her painting as it hangs inside the Capitol Building. She’ll take her mother as her guest for the journey. Hodges is raising money to pay for Wagner’s hotel stay.

Though she has only lived in Port St. Joe for a year, Wagner has found much artistic inspiration in the area.

She has already been commissioned to do paintings of fishing boats, the George Tapper Bridge, and a local sunset over the summer months and will spend the remaining time working with local children to create art out of recycled materials.

Wagner enjoys painting with acrylics and finds herself drawn to subjects that are realistic.

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