GEHS freshman wins congressional art competition

Lynne Hermansen
Gardner News

Kinsey Savage’s grandfather encouraged her to enter her first art contest this year.

That art contest was for the nationwide high school arts competition, the Artistic Discovery Contest, sponsored each spring by members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Savage, a freshman at Gardner Edgerton High School, won the contest and will represent the 3rd District and U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas).

Her entry, “Wandering through the Woods,” will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol, beginning next month when Savage and her family fly to Washington D.C. for the June 20 ceremony. Savage will also participate in a meet- and-greet with U.S. Rep. Davids on May 31. She said she had not met Davids yet, but was nervous and excited.

Savage said she was caught off-guard and in a bit of shock when she received the news at school.

“But, I was excited,” she said. “I was happy on the inside.”

Savage said her art teacher Toni Britt is also excited and happy for her.

“She’s a really good teacher,” she said.

Savage said the piece was inspired by a hike she took with her Divine Mercy Catholic Church youth group friends one day at Big Bull Creek in Edgerton.

“It is sentimental,” she said.

Savage said it took her about a week to complete the painting for submission.

Art didn’t really take off for Savage in her life until the fifth grade.

“I took electives, and it kind of snowballed from there,” she said. “I basically taught myself before that.”

From there, Savage said she decided to stick with it.

“There are no rules in art,” she said. “I can express myself in a better way too then I am able to with words.”

Savage said she is still finding her style, but mostly prefers 2-D art, acrylic painting and landscapes. She said she doesn’t like to select a favorite when it comes to her own pieces.

Savage first entered her art two years ago at the annual Johnson County Fair at the county fairgrounds.

“It’s been a fun experience, and I will keep doing that,” she said. “I had never shown my art before that.”

Last year, Savage won a blue ribbon for one of her art pieces.

Savage said even though her paternal grandfather and some cousins on her dad’s side of the family have artistic talent, she considers herself an oddball when it comes to her talent.

Savage plans on pursuing a career in art. This July, she will be attending art camp with college-level classes she had to apply to with her portfolio at the KC Art Institute.