LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) — Ben Labuzetta of Holmen High School won the 23rd annual Congressional District Art Competition with an oil painting.
High school artists from the Coulee Region contributed their pieces to the competition and gathered for the event on Sunday for the awards ceremony. Wisconsin Third District Representative Ron Kind and his wife Tawni host the art show to promote the talent and artistry of central and western Wisconsin students.
“Tawni and I love to host the congressional art competition every year,” Kind said. “It really highlights the artistic talents that so many of our high school students have throughout western Wisconsin. It’s a way for us to show our appreciation for the art, but also to encourage this type of creativity with our students.”
Winner Ben Labuzzetta said he did not initially intend on entering the contest. “I was just doing it in my free time and then my art teacher brought it up to me and I thought it was a great idea to put it into it,” Labuzzetta said. “So I tried my luck and I guess I won.”
Hannah Chipman of Wonewoc-Center High School won honorable mention from Kind. Her piece was made out of old keys and door nobs. “There’s something really symbolic about a key because it can open a lot of new doors, new windows, just a lot of different things,” Chipman said. “Even the keys themselves have very different shapes to them. So you don’t know where they open, what they open or where they came from.”
Labuzetta’s painting titled Golden Hour will now hang at the Capitol in Washington D.C. with other first-place winners. The second place entry will be on display in Kind’s Washington D.C. office with the third and fourth place entries taking spots on the walls of his La Crosse and Eau Claire offices.