|Written by Greg Ruland|
|Sunday, 22 May 2011 00:00|
Chloe Kramer was ill and down several pounds when she decided to digitally record the moment.
“I was very sick. I lost weight. I was brushing my teeth and saw myself in the mirror. I thought, ‘I look so interesting. I should really document this,’” Kramer said.
Kramer’s image inspired the painting that won her the 2011 District 1 Congressional Art Competition. It hangs in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., until May 2012. A Mingus Union High School senior, Kramer graduates Friday, May 27.
Standing in the self-portrait with Old Glory at her back, Kramer looks gaunt, pale and distressed. Her giant, round eyes stare directly at the viewer.
“I look sick. I look like a ghost,” she said. “It says I’m an American. This is me — maybe not everybody’s idea of an American — but we share important beliefs that unite us.”
The award-winning painting was provided to the office of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar [R-District 1], MUHS Fine Arts teacher Tyler Novak said.
Kramer prefers to keep her opinions about politics in check.
“If anybody likes my art, that’s good — the politics don’t matter,” she said.
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” she said. “Also, congratulations to my friend, Carson Sandoval, who won third place for his pen and ink.”
Sandoval’s artwork hangs in Gosar’s Flagstaff office.
With a week to go before graduation, Kramer said she has bigger issues to consider. She heads to Northern Arizona University for fall classes, but without a major.
“It’s going to be art or chemistry,” she said, denying the appearance of conflict. “The way I see it, they go hand-in-hand.”
The artist’s eye better sees molecules and chemical bonds, an advantage when anchored to the proofs and nomenclature of chemistry. She said she could embrace chemical engineering, but painting will always be an important part of her life.
Kramer said she dives into her artwork with calculated intentions, “and sometimes it turns out horribly.”
“But everything I do is planned,” she said.
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