Iola High School senior Araon Cheung’s acrylic “Late Night on Mass” was selected as best painting from more than 300 entries in a statewide high school art contest recently.
The painting will be presented at an awards dinner in Topeka tonight, Cheung said. It then will hang for two weeks outside the office of Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh.
Cheung’s work, of a bicycle propped against a parking meter, was painted from a photo he took in Lawrence, he told The Register.
It was not the first award he has received for art, but he doesn’t plan to pursue painting as a career.
“It’s just a hobby I enjoy,” Cheung said of painting. “I’m a math/science person.”
Cheung plans to enter the University of Kansas in fall and major in electrical engineering.
As for the recent award, Cheung has art teacher Amy Shannon to thank for his entering the contest.
She told students about the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas art contest, dubbed “Kansans, As Talented as You Think,” and helped with submissions, he said.
Cheung’s was the only winner from southeast Kansas; most of the seven other winning and 14 runner-up entries came from the Lawrence and Kansas City areas.
“I was really happy with it,” he said of the outcome.
Cheung said the contest theme was “what represents Kansas. Mine was a place that showed the other side of Kansas, the more urban side, away from the corn fields that most people usually think of.”
Art, Cheung said, is “about motivation, really.”
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