Bonney Lake senior wins Congressional art contest

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What started out as a dream to be as good an artist as her cousin has turned into a crowning achievement for Bonney Lake senior Katie Lasko.

This month, Rep. Dave Reichert announced Lasko’s color pencil piece, “Oh, Honey,” as this year’s winner of the Congressional Art Competition for the 8th District.

(View the 2014 winners here)

This is the second year in a row a Bonney Lake High School student has received this award.

The same piece also took first place in Pierce County Library System’s “Our Own Expressions” art and writing contest in the 11 and 12 grade drawing category.

Lasko said winning both art contests confirms that she’s reached one of the checkpoints she was striving for when she set her goal to become an artist.

“I see some recognition now, and I also feel pretty pleased that I’m keeping Bonney Lake’s name on the map,” Lasko said. “I want to keep Bonney Lake afloat, because we are such a new school. This feels good.”

Lasko’s piece, “Oh, Honey,” is her first attempt at a self portrait, and she only started focusing on drawing faces this year.

The self-portrait took her three weeks to complete, Lasko said.

For her piece, Lasko decided to draw honey dripping down her arms, although she admits she’s not sure why she decided to draw honey.

“It’s kind of weird or odd thing to put in a piece,” said Lasko. “I get really taken aback by these pieces that are massive oil painting of someone with bubbles on their face, or someone underwater. Liquids are so hard to accurately convey with paint or any other medium, so I wanted to try something like that.”

Lasko said she wanted to be an artist after seeing her cousin sketch a cheetah when Lasko was younger.

“She’s a really stellar artist a long, long time ago,” Lasko said. “And from then on, I wanted to see if I could work up to her level and accurately recreate these images.”

She started with tracing and doodling, but Lasko eventually made her way into school art classes and in middle school, she started submitting her work to the Puyallup Fair.

When high school came around, she felt she was finally offered a more advanced option for art classes.

“I got into advanced drawing and painting this year, and I came in with the same 6 year old goal in mind to get up to the level my cousin is at and prove to myself that I can do it,” Lasko said. “I’m still not at the level I want to be at. I’m not going to major in art or anything, but I definitely want to keep it as an option.”

Lasko will be attending Gonzaga University in the fall to follow a career in the medical field.

“I’m going to get there and enroll in an anatomy class or something and see if I like the whole medical side of things,” Lasko said. “I haven’t been able to really do that here. I just really want to explore my options.”

Reach Ray Still at rstill@courierherald.com or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058. Follow him on Twitter @rayscottstill for more news, pictures and local events.