Seabreeze student painting to hang in U.S. Capitol

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  • | 3:56 p.m. May 2, 2014
  • Ormond Beach Observer
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Yong Zheng, 16, won the U.S. Congressional Art Competition April 26. 

Yong Zheng's impulsiveness of as an elementary school student unknowingly led her to some pretty big opportunities.

"I just bought it," Zheng said. "I had no idea what I was doing. It was a set of those Crayola watercolors and I was painting on copy paper."

Now a 16 year old at Seabreeze High School, Zheng is a young artist with a few brag-worthy accomplishments. And we're not talking prom queen.

Zheng won the U.S. Congressional Art Competition April 26 and will have her painting displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. The junior even gets to visit her work in a free trip to Washington D.C., in June, right before her 17th birthday.

Her art teacher for three years, Lisa Botkin, entered Zhang into the contest.

"I had no idea about the contest until Mrs. Botkin told me," Zhang said.

"Her picture was amazing," Botkin said. "She is a really good artist."

Though in school she paints mostly landscapes, her few free moments at home are spent creating anime and manga artwork. Her artistic success has definitely influenced Zhang's career goals and she wants to do something with graphic design.

"I love the fact that I don't have to think about it," Zhang said. "When I paint, my mind just goes blank. I don't have to worry about this or that or think about anything else."

Zhang's painting will be displayed in the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum's Tradewinds art show from May 9-29. The show features artwork from about 150 Seabreeze students. The school will host a show in their gymnasium from 8 a.m., to 1 p.m. May 7. The museum will have a reception from 6-8 p.m. May 9.


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