May 23, 2006
Press Release

-USN's Maria Lombardy named first place winner
of the 5th District's Congressional Art Competition


NASHVILLE - The work of University School senior Maria Lombardy will represent Tennessee's 5th District at a special art exhibit in our nation's capital, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper announced.

Lombardy's oil painting on canvas, entitled "Mom and Me," was awarded first place in Cooper's Congressional Art Competition.

The announcement was made by Cooper at Saturday's Congressional Art Show, which brought together area high school art students, their families, art instructors and the competition's judges to recognize all the entries.

"I just painted it for my mom for Mother's Day," Lombardy said. She worked from a photograph of herself around age four or five and her mother, although she did make some adjustments in the process of painting. The piece took about three months to complete, with Lombardy working on it sporadically. Lombardy took up painting only a year ago, in the spring semester of her junior year at USN. She will continue to paint while attending Vanderbilt University, where she plans to study foreign languages and the humanities.

Second place was awarded to Ashley Parkes from St. Cecilia Academy for her work, "Bunky" and third place went to Samuel Barringer from Father Ryan High School for his painting in acrylic, "Bob Marley." McGavock Comprehensive High School's Riki Roman was named honorable mention for his self portrait in pencil. Twelve high schools from across Davidson, Wilson and Cheatham counties were represented in this year's Congressional Art Competition. These pieces will be on display in Cooper's Nashville and Washington offices throughout the year.

"This is such a great opportunity for high school artists," Cooper said of the Congressional Art Competition. "It's a chance to show off the young talent we have here in Middle Tennessee. I hope all these young folks continue to cultivate their artistic skills - these wonderful works of art could be worth a lot of money one day!"

Judges for this year's competition were local artists Marilyn Brisbois, Sandra Duncan, Amy Smith-Earhart, Alice Waugh, Sharon Midget and Mary Neville.

As the first place winner, Lombardy also won three round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C. from Southwest Airlines to attend the opening reception of the Congressional Art exhibit at the Capitol in June, a private tour of the Capitol, and a $3,000 scholarship from Savannah College of Art and Design.

To view all of the 5th District Art Competition entries and photos from the Congressional Art Show, visit Cooper's website at www.cooper.house.gov.