Englewood resident Seiji Hewson took first through fourth honors in the First Congressional District Student Art Contest, a feat described as …
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Englewood resident Seiji Hewson took first through fourth honors
in the First Congressional District Student Art Contest, a feat
described as unprecedented by contest organizers.
For the past nine years, U.S. Rep Diana DeGette, D-Colo., has
sponsored the contest each year for students who live or go to
school in her district. This year, a panel of five judges evaluated
the 55 entries and named Hewson the grand prize winner.
Congresswoman DeGette was on hand April 19 at the Art Institute
of Colorado to present the awards to Hewson.
“I am pleased to award Seija Hewson the grand prize award and
the honor of having his work displayed in the U.S. Capitol,” Rep.
DeGette said in a written statement. “I was overwhelmed by the
quality of art from the students who entered this year’s
competition and I am proud of the art education program at our
Denver-area high schools.”
At the April 19 ceremony, Hewett received the first-place award
as well as a $5,000 scholarship to the Art Institute. He also was
given two round-trip tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines so he
can attend join the congresswoman for the June ceremonies where his
winning, “Lost World,” will be hung in the Cannon tunnel at the
U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. along with winning entries from
other congressional districts.
The artist didn’t specifically create the winning entry for the
“I actually started drawing this picture last year as an
assignment commenting on adverse impact on the environment,” the
Colorado’s Finest Alternative High School student said of the
winning entry. “Eventually, I decided to change the focus and
reflect my commentary on what is wrong with society with so much
emptiness. I tried to reflect how everything is the picture showed
emptiness. I drew it so the car is empty and the door is open and
the church stands empty with the doors open. The only one in the
picture was the person wrapped in the red cloak.”
He said his biggest challenge was to have the eyes of the single
person in the picture reflect the emotion of sadness and fear and
all the emptiness.
“This is primarily a pencil drawing but I did use bits of color
to punctuate the theme,” he said. “The light is flashing red and
the girl is wrapped in a red blanket. I used red because it stands
out and tends to draw attention and because it is a warning of
Each artist entering the congressional contest is asked to
submit four works and Hewson said his works tend to reflect the
diversity of his feelings and imagination.
His entries included a very detailed portrayal of the face of
rap artist Tupac Shakur drawn to reflect the man’s emotions while
the other two drawings delved into the artist’s imagination.
One of them, titled “Soul Entry” was a collage of figures which
included a mask of the “Joker” and the grim reaper while the fourth
entry was titled, “Not So Friendly.”
The focus of “Not So Friendly “is an imaginary character with
ram-like horns on its head, two unusual, very different eyes along
with a body that is drawn from the artist’s imagination. The focus
was centered on the figure by the splashes of red on the mat
surrounding the artwork.
“I just started drawing and the final result was ‘my ‘Not So
Friendly’ character” Hewson said. “I just drew heavily on concepts
from my imagination as I was looking to make some sort of design or
logo. The result was all the diverse images just came out and found
their place on the drawing.”
His works, along with the other contest entries, will be on
display at the Art Institute of Colorado Gallery through May 7. The
gallery is located at 12th Avenue and Lincoln Street.
Hewson, a senior, had planned to go to Metropolitan State
University but now will take advantage of the scholarship to the
“I still see doing drawings and artwork but my goal is to get
into graphic design and animation in order to bring my artwork to
that medium,” he said. “Art is a part of me and a driving force of
expression of who I am and what I am.”
He said he has been drawing almost as long as he can remember.
He has taken art classes all through school and did take some
private art classes when he was in middle school, but basically,
most of his techniques and skills are self-taught.
“I was sort of drawn to doing pencil sketches because I like the
starkness of the black, white and grays and the emotions they
convey,” he said. “I also like the shading you can do with a pencil
that I don’t feel you can do as well with other mediums. While I am
going to use pen too, I feel this medium is how I can express all
the different feelings and emotions inside me.”
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