By Lars Dalseide | May 21 2011 10:19

Budding artist Joanna Garcia won Best in Show for the 2010 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest. Joanna also entered the 2011 Congressional Artistic Discovery Competition. Read more in the Frederick News Post:

Thurmont teen's art to grace U.S. Capitol

Joanna Garcia's 'Pack of One' takes Best in Show for the 2010 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest on NRAblog. Another Garcia original will appear in the U.S. Capitol Building in June of 2011. Joanna Garcia's Pack of One takes Best in Show for the 2010 George Montgomery NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest.
A high school student from Thurmont is being honored by U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett today for her painting, which will hang in the Capitol building for a year.

Joanna Garcia, 17, won Bartlett's 2011 Congressional Artistic Discovery Competition with her acrylic painting "Screech Owl." The painting will be hung on June 22 in a ceremony for winners from throughout the country. Joanna has been drawing since she was very young, following in the footsteps of her brother, Daniel, who also enjoyed drawing.

"He had all his colored pencils and I always wanted to use them, so he kind of motivated me to pick up a pencil and start practicing," she said. But Joanna became much more passionate about art than her brother did.

"She drew on the wall, she drew behind the cushions where you couldn't see, she embellished all her math worksheets with little dogs all over the place," said her mother, Susan Garcia. "It was work to get her to do school instead of drawing, so I knew it was a driving passion that I saw early on."

Joanna drew mostly dogs at first and eventually branched out to other animals. "I really like wildlife," she said. "It's kind of my goal to portray God's creation in some sort of way, and I kind of see art as an opportunity to do that. So it's always been animals, sometimes people here and there."

She took an interest in painting a year or two ago and sought out an art teacher to help her learn the fundamentals. She decided on Ray Buchheister, who runs Buchheister Fine Art Studio near Fairfield, Pa. He has helped focus her talents and find ways to get her name out through exhibits and art contests.

Since working with Buchheister, Joanna won the National Rifle Association Youth Wildlife Art contest in January with a painting of a gray wolf, which was featured on the front page of the NRA's InSights magazine.

Read more about Joanna's triumph here.

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