by the Opelika Observer staff


While this may be Jasmine Boutdy’s first year of taking art, the Opelika High School sophomore recently took home Best in Show honors in the state Congressional District Art competition – the sixth consecutive year the honor has been bestowed to an Opelika art student.

Boutdy’s portrait piece, “Once Bitten Twice Shy,” was chosen in the contest sponsored by Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL) and will hang in the Cannon Tunnel walkway under our nation’s Capitol building for one year.

Boutdy said she was excited to receive the honor, adding that her teacher, Jeff Conway, was the one who entered her in the competition.

“He came to me and asked if he could enter my piece, so I said sure,” Boutdy said. “It felt good to have him select my work just to be nominated and then it won.”

Boutdy praised Conway for his help and encouragement.

“It was my first year doing art and to have this happen just feels great,” Boutdy said. “I couldn’t have done it without Mr. Conway. He’s helped me out so much.”

In addition to the honor of having her work displayed in Washington D.C., Boutdy will also receive an all-expense paid trip to D.C. for four days and three nights, including a ceremony honoring her work.

“I’m excited to get to go on the trip,” Boutdy said, adding that she had never been to the nation’s capitol.

Two other OHS students, Mercedes Menefield and Clarion Jones, were recognized at the Congressional Art competition. Menefield received “Best in Mixed Media” and Jones was awarded an Honorable Mention.