Waterville’s Miranda Kipplen Wins Congressional Art Competition

Miranda Kipplen poses with “Spring’s Secrets,” a colored pencil drawing that won Best of Show in the Pemberville Art Show last year. The drawing was also named the winner for the Ohio’s 5th Congressional District in the 2020 Congressional Art Competition. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELE KIPPLEN

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Walking in area parks, high school senior Miranda Kipplen loves listening to birds and breathing in the scent of flowers – often sketching them into one of her many notebooks.

This year, those who visit the U.S. Capitol will get a vision of an Ohio spring through Miranda’s “Spring’s Secrets,” a colored pencil drawing that was selected as the winner of the 2020 Congressional Art Com-petition for Ohio’s 5th District. 

In the district, 75 students from 17 schools submitted artwork. In addition to Miranda’s work, Bridget Wood of Pandora-Gilbert High School, Hailey Hoffman of Pike-Delta-York High School and Ceria Fortney of Bowling Green High School each received honorable mentions.

“I do believe this is the first time for Anthony Wayne to have a congressional art show winner,” said Anthony Wayne High School art teacher Carrie Flagg. “What a great accomplishment for Miranda.”

This is the second time Miranda has entered the Congressional Art Com-petition – teacher Brian DeKay entered one of her pieces during her freshman year. It was an experience that allowed Miranda to listen to other students talk about their work and motivated her to try again. 

While Miranda likes trying all art mediums, including watercolor and digital design, she is focused on colored pencil, especially when creating portraits or depicting nature. As a freshman, Miranda was inspired by the work of then-senior Kameron Sallows, who created “fascinating work” with colored pencils. 

In her notebooks, Miranda sketches out favorite flowers and emotions she wants to portray. Often, she will begin several ideas at once, returning to finish them later.

While she lives in Waterville, Miranda ventures to Oak Openings and the Blue Creek Metropark quarry in Whitehouse. 

“I like to walk trails and listen to birds. I’m thankful my parents are very active and got me out to explore,” she said of her mom, Michele, and father, Brian. “Spring is my favorite season because it’s getting ready for summer, when you start planting seeds. It’s amazing how each spring, you start to see the little signs of flowers. I like trying to put nature and other animals together in my work.”

“Spring’s Secrets” was a Best of Show winner at the Pemberville Art Show. Miranda also took second place at the Business Professionals of America competition with a promotion for Orlando, Fla., when she was a Penta Career Center student studying digital design. She returned to Anthony Wayne for online school after the onset of COVID-19. 

Normally, the art competition winner would receive tickets to fly to Washington, D.C., for the exhibit, but this year, of course, is different. 

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 as an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have participated in the national competition. The 2021 competition deadline is Wednesday, March 31. Submissions should be e-mailed to OH05.Art@ mail.house.gov. 

The judges for the 2020 competition included Owens Community college fine art professor Kevin Schroeder and photography professor Ruth Foote. 

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