Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

May 30, 2013

Congressman Luke Messer visits SDHS to honor art student

Amanda Browning
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Congressman Luke Messer visited South Decatur High School (SDHS) Thursday morning to honor freshman student Jessica Hearld for her winning entry in the Congressional Art Competition.

SDHS art students have been churning out masterpieces for years under the tutelage of art teacher Bryan Moore, who frequently enters specific pieces into competitions. Recently, SDHS art students dominated the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, winning over 50 percent of all awards given to artists in Indiana. Thursday, one of Moore’s freshman art students received the distinct honor of winning first place in the district in the Congressional Art Competition.

The winning student, Jessica Hearld, met with Congressman Luke Messer to receive a certificate detailing her accomplishment. Moore entered Jessica’s oil pastel painting of a barn at sunset into the contest. She beat all other entries in the district, which is composed of 19 counties and 92 schools, to claim the top honor. In addition to the Congressman’s visit and the certificate, Jessica will be taking a free trip to Washington D.C. to attend a dinner with Congressman Messer and winners from other districts across the country. She will also view her art hanging in the tunnel between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol Building.

Congressman Messer stated that every time a vote is called in Congress, at least 50 percent of the House members will walk through the tunnel and will see the painting. He added that most visitors will take the tunnel as well. All the winning paintings will be displayed by state, and within that group, by district. There are nine districts in Indiana, with Jessica’s painting representing the sixth district. All of this year’s winners will have their art displayed in the tunnel for a full year.

Jessica is one of the youngest artists to ever compete in the contest, as she is only 14. She credits her parents for inspiring her love of art. She said they used to sit and draw with her when she was little. Hearld said her father is a talented artist and he taught her a lot. She added, “I draw when I’m bored. That’s how I got so good.”

The winning painting was inspired by multiple photos found on the internet and brought into reality by Jessica’s talented hands and oil pastel paints in shades of her favorite color- orange. The painting was also entered into the Versailles Pumpkin Show art contest, where it won best in show for the landscape division, earning Hearld a $150 prize. Her entry in the Federal Duck Stamp Contest won second place in the state as well.

Messer stated that he was happy to return to his home county and to honor Jessica for her accomplishment. He looks forward to walking past her painting as he passes through the tunnel on the way to the Capitol Building and hopes that other Congressmen and women will do the same.  


Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004