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Local artist tells a story of our times

By Bill Althaus bill.althaus@examiner.net

Blue Springs South High School graduate Sarah Luzynski should have enjoyed a trip to Washington, D.C., to watch her watercolor/collage “Germs,” placed on the wall of the Cannon Tunnel in the U.S. Capitol Complex.

But that was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blue Springs South High School graduate Sarah Luzynski is the winner of the 2020 Sixth Congressional District Art Competition. Her winning art, ‘Germs,’ will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel in the U.S. Capitol complex. Luzynski is a freshman at the Kansas City Art Institute. [Bill Althaus/The Examiner]

While she missed the trip to the nation’s capital, she still enjoys the pride that comes from a job well done.

“It might be the only good thing that has happened to me since the pandemic,” said Luzynski, a freshman at the Kansas City Art Institute.

“When I submitted my art work, along with other high school students from the Sixth District, I had no idea what to expect. Then, I got a surprise call from Congressman (Sam) Graves, telling me I had won. I really couldn’t believe it. It was such an honor.”

Luzynski’s parents both deal with immune issues, so the vibrant teen said they are taking extra precautions when it comes to travel and social distancing.

“I drew my theme for ‘Germs’ from the pandemic,” she said. “My parents have problems with their immunity, and this pandemic has changed everyone’s lives and I wanted to tell my story through my art.”

The piece is a combination of watercolor, featuring her favorite pastel colors along with a dramatic deep blue brush stroke for her subjects hair, that is complemented by three-dimensional butterflies.

“I love working with watercolor, because of the way you can build up your translucent colors and I enjoy bold, strong strokes – like I used painting the hair.”

“And I wanted to make it a bit hopeful, so I added the butterflies, which implies I’m ready to get back to normal.”