SARTELL (WJON News) -- One Sartell-St. Stephen High School Student is receiving national recognition for her artwork. Senior Lydia Holmgren took first place for Minnesota in Wildlife Forever’s Art of Conservation’s Fish Art Contest for her painting of a Sunfish, and her drawing of her great-grandmother recently won the Congressional Art Competition for District 6.

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Paul Habstritt, WJON
Paul Habstritt, WJON

Holmgren says her teacher, Mike Carlson, typically tells her about the different contests and the Wildlife Forever contest let her recapture a part of her childhood:

“Fishing has always been a part of my childhood and I liked that I was able to connect with my childhood and experience through my art.”

She says a lot of her art is based on photographs:

“I really like realism and so I usually work off of photographs because I’m able to, I’m trying to recreate the details that I see in real life.”

Carlson says Holmgren has always excelled with her art:

“She stood out right away and she took several classes also drawing with Mrs. Phillips and Riekert probably so she’s benefited from a number of different teachers. Her drawings are also award-winning, her painting is amazing. Then she’s done a couple independent studies, which is pretty neat where she actually gets to write her own curriculum.”

He continued to say she has always been exceptional:

“Lydia’s like the kind of painter that breaks the mold. You

Lydia Holmgren
Lydia Holmgren

kind of think that, I think a lot of people would have a hard time even with college level classes getting to the level where Lydia has gotten and she’s just graduating high school so it’s pretty exciting to see.”

Holmgren’s great-grandmother drawing will be on display in the U.S. Capital Building for an entire year. She says she hopes to enter a songbird contest for her next project.


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