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Latonia Girl Wins Museum Art Contest for Second Straight Year

Iris Sullivan was named winner of the Connie O'Donnell Student Art Invitational for the second consecutive year.

Sullivan, of Latonia, is a junior at Holy Cross High School.

Her entry was a charcoal drawing of a young girl gazing at the Eiffel Tower, which was submitted to the contest by her art teacher, Craig Lipscomb.

Sullivan won a $50 prize, and the Holy Cross art program was awarded $500.

The competition is hosted by Behringer-Crawford Museum in honor of the late artist Connie O'Donnell, of Villa Hills, to offer talented local high school students the opportunity to showcase their work during the museum's annual freshART event, which takes place on October 4.

First runner-up in this year's competition was Aaron Mufle, a senior at Covington Catholic High School, submitted by art teacher Tim Haders. Second runner-up was Jenna Shriver, a senior at Notre Dame Academy, entered by teacher Matt Eckerle.

Sullivan said that she has been interested in art since about age 10. She said she had always admired a still life of roses that hung on her living room wall. The piece, which was painted by her aunt, was so intriguing for her that it led her to paint her own still lifes.

An appreciation for art runs in her entire family, who hold their own competitions to take photos from which Iris is to make paintings. A photo is where Iris received her inspiration for her winning piece, "Ashlyn on the Del Trocadero." Her charcoal drawing was originally a gift for a family friend to commemorate a visit to France, she said, adding that she personally knows the young girl that she depicted in her drawing.

Winning the O'Donnell invitational two years in a row has been a confidence boost for Sullivan, she said. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Sullivan said she can pass hours drawing her own interpretations of the images she finds. "I set weekends off to the side where I can just spend the whole day doing art. And I go to my aunt's house, because she's kind of like a drill sergeant," Sullivan said. "I'll stay on one area of the art for a while and not move on."

In addition to charcoal work, Sullivan is also exploring other art styles, especially pointillism.

She plans to enter the competition again next year.

Iris's drawing and submissions by other student artists are on display at BCM now through the freshART livestream auction on Sunday, October 4.

-Staff report

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