Friday, May 12, 2023

Local Student Wins Congressional Art Contest

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2023 at 1:05 PM

click to enlarge Trinity Bowie with her winning painting, "Balance in Two Worlds." - SUBMITTED
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  • Trinity Bowie with her winning painting, "Balance in Two Worlds."
St. Bernard’s Academy junior Trinity Bowie has been named this year’s California Second District winner in the national Artistic Discovery Contest sponsored by members of Congress.

According to a release from her school, North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman called Bowie last week to share the news.

The 17 year old’s painting, “Balance in Two Worlds,” is part of her Advanced Placement art portfolio, which “focused on modern Indigenous culture.”
click to enlarge "Balance in Two Worlds" - SUBMITTED
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  • "Balance in Two Worlds"
Bowie, a tribal member of the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, wrote in her artist statement: “This is a painting of myself after a ceremony in my traditional regalia, that is all hand-made. As I stand looking at a modern world, it feels like there is no place for Native Culture anymore. The church is a major element (considering the decades of damage the Catholic Church inflicted on my people, especially during the boarding school era). The blue jays in the tree show significance because their feathers are important and used to make the veil in the flower dance (women's coming of age ceremony), which I will be having for myself very soon.”

In addition to having her painting on display in the U.S. Capitol for a year, Bowie will also be flown to Washington, D.C., to participate in an award ceremony with winners from other congressional districts.

“Trinity is an exceptional artist and student,” Maya Makino, Trinity’s art teacher at St. Bernard’s Academy, said in the release. “She is a focused artist who creates pieces with deep layers of meaning. I’m excited for Trinity’s bright creative future.”

Read the release below:

When Trinity Bowie got a call from an unknown number she assumed it was a spam call. Luckily, she picked up, because U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman was on the line. He was calling to congratulate Trinity, a 17 year old junior at St. Bernard’s Academy in Eureka, for winning the Second District congressional art competition, a nationwide high school visual art contest.

The winning piece from each district is displayed at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. for one year. Trinity and the other winners will be flown to D.C. to be honored at an awards ceremony.

Trinity’s painting, “Balance in Two Worlds”, was created as part of her Advanced Placement Art portfolio, which focused on modern indigenous culture. Trinity is a member of the Bear River Band Rancheria.

In her artist’s statement Trinity wrote: “This is a painting of myself after a ceremony in my traditional regalia, that is all hand-made. As I stand looking at a modern world it feels like there is no place for Native Culture anymore. The church is a major element (considering the decades of damage the catholic church inflicted on my people, especially during the boarding school era.) The blue jays in the tree show significance because their feathers are important and used to make the veil in the flower dance (women's coming of age ceremony) Which I will be having for myself very soon.”

Maya Makino, Trinity’s art teacher at St. Bernard’s Academy, said, “Trinity is an exceptional artist and student. She is a focused artist who creates pieces with deep layers of meaning. I’m excited for Trinity’s bright creative future.”

It happens that Trinity will fly to D.C. on her 18th birthday. What a way to celebrate!
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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