Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Announces Winner of Congressional Art Competition

Apr 30, 2019
Press Release
Lipscomb Academy junior, Mattie Neal, will have her work displayed in U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced the winner of the Congressional Art Competition from Tennessee’s 5th district.

The winning piece, an oil on canvas portrait of a young girl titled “Little Sister,” was painted by Lipscomb Academy junior, Mattie Neal. Mattie’s painting was selected by a panel of impartial judges from over 100 blind submissions from high schools across Middle Tennessee, including Christ Presbyterian Academy, Father Ryan High School, Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School, Lipscomb Academy, St. Cecilia Academy and the University School of Nashville.

Honorable mentions include Mary Papillion of Lipscomb Academy (9th Grade), Addi Gerlach of Christ Presbyterian Academy (10th Grade) and Nicole Balmaceda of Father Ryan High School (12th Grade).

“The level of artistic talent in this competition is incredible,” Rep. Cooper said. “I am proud that Mattie’s painting will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for millions of people to see.”

Mattie Neal is daughter of Melanie Neal and Nashville portrait artist, Michael Shane Neal, who is one of the most sought after commissioned portrait artists in the world.

As first place winner, Mattie’s artwork will be featured with the winners from congressional districts around the country in a special exhibit at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Her father’s work is also displayed at the U.S. Capitol as part of the permanent art collection.