, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 23, 2013

Teen’s entry captures art contest honor

Work will hang in U.S. Capitol

— Tahlequah High School sophomore Brooke Hunter spent a month sketching and detailing her artwork “The Artist.”

The work paid off Monday when Brooke’s picture took Best in Show at the Oklahoma Second Congressional District Art Competition. U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who represents the district, said the competition had 217 entries from 18 schools across eastern Oklahoma. The winning art pieces were displayed in a ceremony Monday morning at Northeastern State University’s Muskogee Campus.

Sydney Pierce of Wyandotte High School took second Best in Show with her watercolor “The Boy.” Other works of hers placed third and fifth Best in Show.

Brooke’s colored pencil drawing of an artist’s dummy painting a picture will hang in the U.S. Capitol for a year. The drawing also placed first in the show’s Drawing, Colored Pencil category.

“It’s amazing! I’m so excited,” Brooke said as she assembled her winning art pieces after the presentation. Brooke’s pastel panting “Skate” placed fourth in Best of Show and first in Pastel. Two more of her paintings placed second and third in pastels, and a fifth was named a Cream of the Crop in Acrylic/Oil.

Brooke said she drew “The Artist” because she wanted to do something “fun and different.”

Brooke’s father, Lance Hunter, said it’s unusual for someone Brooke’s age to take so long on a piece.

However, “professionals might be spending a month to the better part of a year on a work,” he said.

Hunter is an associate professor of art at NSU. Brooke’s mother, Sylvia Nitti, has taught drawing and pastel classes at NSU since 2001.

Brooke said her parents have been her inspiration and encouragement.

“They have been there to support me,” she said. “They showed me how I can improve my art and make it better.”

Hunter noted, “She puts a lot of work into her art.”

Speaking of himself and Nitti, he said: “I think both of us have not pushed art onto her. But it is something she developed on her own.”

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or

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