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Denham Springs student wins grand prize in state's art flag content

Denham Springs student wins grand prize in state's art flag content
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POSTED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 12:04pm

Out of 150 contest entries from Louisiana, Denham Springs High School 11th grader Rebecca Maples placed first in the High School Division, and also won the Grand Prize in the Louisiana Art Education Association's Youth Art Flag Design contest with her depiction of the theme, "Celebrating Louisiana's Bicentennial." This month is the 200th year of our state.

Using "200" as an address on Magazine Street in New Orleans, the 17-year old Maples incorporated typical Louisiana traditions into her flag art yada yada yada. The winning artwork was made into a 3' x 5' vinyl flag, which has been making its way across America hanging in various art displays.

Becca conceptualized, sketched and painted the design in less than 24 hours. Her mother, Valerie Maples, said Becca came home from school in the afternoon saying that her Denham Springs High School art teacher, Virginia Berthelot, wanted Becca to submit an entry in the LAEA flag design contest. But the deadline was the next day! Valerie committed to stay up with Becca as long as she wanted to work. With nothing yet in mind, Becca began her sketch. Hands shaking and exhausted at 3:00 a.m., Becca and her mom went to bed with the piece incomplete. A sleepy Becca finished the artwork the next day at school to meet the deadline.

Teacher Virginia Berthelot is the National Art Education Association's 2012 Southeastern Region Secondary Art Educator award winner and is the LAEA YAM Flag Design Chairperson.

Becca and her parents, Gary and Valerie Maples, were recognized at the April 23 meeting of the Denham Springs City Council. Becca is the first winner from Denham Springs in the 20-year history of the competition and will be presented an LAEA award on May 7th at their statewide event, Artist in the Capitol Day. The high school junior is also a member of the DSHS Swim Team and serves on the Yearbook Staff.


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