April 24, 2014

Westmoreland Congratulates Congressional Art Contest Winner Macie Poague of Harris County

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Lynn Westmoreland would like to recognize and congratulate Harris County resident Macie Poague for placing first in the annual Congressional Art Contest in Georgia’s Third District. Ms. Poague was selected among 98 entries from 11 participating Georgia high schools to have her artwork displayed in the corridors of the U.S. Capitol.

As the first place winner of the Congressional Art Competition, Ms. Poague will receive a $10,000 scholarship to the Art Institute of Atlanta and will also be eligible for a scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition, she will receive a trip to Washington D.C. with a parent and her art teacher to attend the ceremony where her artwork will be displayed in the Capitol.

“I would like to thank all of the students who participated in this year’s event.  Every year I look forward to the Congressional Art Competition because it gives me the chance to view the undeniable gift so many students in Georgia’s Third Congressional District possess,” stated Westmoreland.  “Macie’s artwork was particularly moving, especially when you know the inspiration behind her portrait – her Great Great Uncle Jonas Fate Russell.  I would like to congratulate Macie for her hard work and for pursuing her aspirations and encourage her to continue to follow her artistic dreams.”

(L-R) Congressman Westmoreland, Macie Poague (Winner) with her artwork "Uncle Fate", and Michael Kleeman from the Art Institute of Atlanta

(L-R) Congressman Westmoreland, Macie Poague (Winner) with her artwork “Uncle Fate”, and Michael Kleeman from the Art Institute of Atlanta

Macie Poague is a senior at Harris County High School and is the daughter of Jeff and Dawn Poague of Shiloh, GA. She is the Granddaughter of Johnny and Faye Poague of Shiloh, Georgia, and the Grand Niece of Steve Russell of St. Augustine, Florida.

Poague’s art teacher is Sondra Palmer. Her artwork is a charcoal drawing of a photo of her Great Great Uncle Jonas Fate Russell, entitled “Uncle Fate.” He was a kind and gentle man who had some mental challenges.

However, he was never without a pocketful of quarters, a harmonica, and Juicy Fruit gum. The photo represents a real snap shot from his life in Phenix City, Alabama, taken by Macie’s Great Uncle Steve Russell of St. Augustine, Florida, and Macie was inspired by the photo the moment she saw it.

When asked about her winning artwork, Poague stated, “When my mother brought me the photo, I knew immediately that it would make a great charcoal portrait. I was still new at using charcoal, but the detail and depth of the photo made it ideal for a charcoal portrait. This was such a fun portrait to draw – I felt like I was learning more about my family and my history and it was really meaningful. I also want to take a moment to thank some of my amazing art teachers who have encouraged me along the way. Thanks so much to my current art teacher Sondra Palmer and a special thanks to my elementary school teacher, the late Charles Earl. I also want to thank my parents for being so supportive!”

“I would like to thank Georgia EMC, the Art Institute of Atlanta, the Savannah College of Art and Design, Southwest Airlines, and Cruise Planners for their generous support for our winners as well,” stated Westmoreland.  “Their dedication to this project is unmatched.”

The Congressional Art Contest is a national competition sponsored by the Congressional Art Caucus.

If you are interested in entering the 2014 Congressional Art Contest, you can learn more about it by visiting the congressman’s website at www.house.gov/westmoreland and selecting “Constituent Services” or by contacting Avery Raptis in his Newnan office at (770) 683-2033.

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