Local art star will shine in Capitol

Isabelle Crawford's winning "Branches."
Photo by Isabelle Crawford

Isabelle Crawford's winning "Branches."

Massachusetts Congressman Bill Keating recently announced the winners of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition. Isabelle Crawford, a 10th-grader at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) won the “Best in Show” award. Her submission, a black and white photo entitled “Branches,” will be displayed in the US Capitol along with the winning submissions from districts across the country.

Isabelle Crawford, left, with Representative Bill Keating in his Boston office. Rep. Keating presented Isabelle with the Best in Show Award.

Jennifer Crawford

Isabelle Crawford, left, with Representative Bill Keating in his Boston office. Rep. Keating presented Isabelle with the Best in Show Award.

“I want to congratulate all those who participated and won awards in this year’s Congressional Art Competition,” Rep. Keating said, adding that each year, he is more impressed with the skill and talent shown by participating students.

MVRHS produced six winners over all. “They all richly deserved their awards,” said Chris Baer, Chairman of the Art, Design, and Technology Department at the high school. “Our high school has never had an opportunity to exhibit work in the US Capitol, and we are all excited for Isabelle and our school community.”

According to Mr. Baer, Isabelle made her photograph while on an assignment for the Vineyard Conservation Society to explore aspects of our community that we should make efforts to preserve. She chose the huge, ailing oak tree in North Tisbury, familiar to everyone in the community and captured by many artists in the past, including well-known photographer Alfred Eisenstadt. Isabelle took a fresh approach to her subject by ignoring the massive trunk and focusing on the textures made by its limbs against the clouds, in rich black and white tones.

The additional winners from MVRHS are: Courtney Howell, Photography first place, for “Where Art Thou?”; Elizabeth Dourian, Photography second place, for “Road to the Lighthouse”; Kylie Hathaway, Photography Honorable Mention, for “I Stopped to Ponder”; Alistair Rizza, Photography Honorable Mention, for “I Could Use a Wish”; Kiara Vought, Paintings Honorable Mention, for “Woman in Blue.”

A photo album of this year’s winners can be found on Rep. Keating’s Facebook page.