Capitol Christmas Tree art winner from Panorama School

Sarah Haney (pictured) is the winner of the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree art contest. The 16-year-old Panorama Alternative School student won the grand prize and the $1,000 that goes with it. She also collected $200 as the Youth category winner. The contest was co-sponsored by The U.S. Forest Service and the non-profit Choose Outdoors from Colorado. The art contest was open to all residents of the home state where this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree was provided (the 88-foot Engelmann Spruce came from the Colville National Forest in Pend Oreille County). Haney’s work, titled “Turquoise Snowfall,” will join previous year’s paintings in a permanent collection of Christmas tree art in Washington D.C. According to a spokesman for the contest, Haney’s work “best exemplified the majestic evergreen, natural wonder and offered a fresh perspective of the wintery outdoors.” A photo submitted for the contest by Haney’s classmate, Panorama senior Megan Friedrichsmeyer, was part of the inspiration for the painting. Haney, at least initially, said she didn’t care much for her winning painting and set it aside for over a week and began a new painting. But she returned to her original work and completed it in watercolor. Haney said she was also inspired by Colville retiree, Ann Nelson, who volunteered her time as a guest artist, sharing her knowledge of watercolor painting at Panorama Alternative School.