Tonasket student wins national art contest

TONASKET – Some are leaping, diving, guarding eggs. Others are artistic representations, Pacific Northwest Indian art interlaid on their sleek bodies.

One piece showed a bear and a waterfall, mountains in the distance and the salmon leaping up stream to spawn.

That piece is a watercolor by Katelyn Antuna, a seventh-grader in the Tonasket Outreach Program.

Antuna and more than 300 other students across the country submitted artistic pieces depicting wild salmon to Save Our Wild Salmon, a national coalition of organizations ranging from commercial and sport fishing associations to clean energy advocates dedicated to restoring wild salmon on the Columbia and Snake River runs.

SOWS held an art contest for students across the country. The top 20 art pieces will be displayed at the Capital and the four age group winners will go to D.C. to a SOWS reception.

Antuna is one of those winners.

“I was very surprised when I won,” she said. “I can’t wait for D.C.!”

SOWS pays for the winner and a parents to head to the “other” Washington in June. Katelyn’s mother, Wanda, will likely accompany her.

While in D.C., Katelyn wants to see the monuments and several museums, particularly the National Art Gallery, she said.

She had some watercolor lessons in 2006, she said, but no training besides that.

However, her artistic inclination has been around for a while, Wanda said.

“She loves drawing and art and nature” Wanda said. “She thought this would be fun.”

Katelyn got information about the contest from Carol Lanigan, who runs the Tonasket Outreach Program. She decided to enter.

Winning came at a good time, Wanda said. Katelyn had hurt her knee skiing and was unable to continue on the team. Bummed from that, she was happy to win the contest, which she entered over winter vacation.

“It was a happy surprise,” Wanda said. “It came at a really good time.”

The Antuna family moved to the Tonasket area from Orlando, Florida in 2005, Wanda said. They wanted to raise their two daughters in a quite, rural place, she said.

Katelyn’s younger sister, Olivia, 7 years old, also entered but her piece did not win. She’s happy to have her work online, Wanda said.

Katelyn did see wild salmon once.

“We lived by a river for a while,” she said. “One year, I saw a lot swimming upstream.”

There will also be a calendar released in June featuring the top pieces of art, including Katelyn’s watercolor.

All of the submitted art pieces can be viewed online at http://wildsalmon.org/library/2008-art-contest.cfm.

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