Land O’ Lakes student captures top art prize

For the second consecutive year, a Land O’ Lakes High School student has won top honors in U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ Congressional Art Competition.

By winning the competition, Izzie Brown will receive two free airline tickets to Washington D.C., to attend a reception, and her work will be on display at the Capitol building for a year.

Izzie Brown, a sophomore at Land O’ Lakes High School, won Best of Show with this entry in U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ Congressional Art Competition. (Courtesy of U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis)

Izzie Brown, a sophomore at Land O’ Lakes High School, won Best of Show with this entry in U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ Congressional Art Competition.
(Courtesy of U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis)

Last year, Trevor Nichols won the honor for a pencil drawing of Coach Kris Keppel, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer at the time. Keppel died on Jan. 25, and the portrait that Nichols did was on prominent display at the coach’s funeral at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Land O’ Lakes.

The Congressional Art Competition included artworks by students in Pasco, Pinellas and Hernando counties.

Brown won Best of Show for a work entitled “Moods of Izzie.”

Bilirakis commented on the annual contest, in a news release.

“I believe the arts are an important component of a well-rounded education, as they stimulate creativity and innovation while allowing students the opportunity to express themselves in a meaningful way,” he said.

“I am glad to be able to bring this special opportunity to the students in my district,” Bilirakis added.

Besides her artistic pursuits at Land O’ Lakes High, Brown also has her own business called Word Tangles.

That business grew out of an assignment from her eighth-grade art teacher at Rushe Middle School. The teacher asked her to create a portrait of the Jamaican singer Bob Marley, which Brown did — using the titles of Marley’s songs to form his image.

Since then, Brown has created portraits of numerous famous personalities using words or, in the case of Albert Einstein, numbers, to shape the image.

Brown said she hasn’t had much time to devote to her business lately because she’s been quite busy doing the work she needs to complete for her Advanced Placement Art class.

She credits her teacher, Cynthia Smith, for helping her manage her time to meet the Advanced Placement workload requirements.

Brown is looking forward to her trip to Washington D.C.

“My mom will be with me in D.C., for the ceremony,” said the high school sophomore, who plans to spend some additional time in the area for vacation.

After leaving Washington D.C., she’ll travel to the national Future Business Leaders of America competition.

While she still has two years left of high school, Brown is already thinking ahead to college.

At the moment, she’s interested in studying abroad at the University of Oslo.

She thinks that would be her ideal school. However, she knows that the competition will be stiff.

“They only accept 60 international students,” she said.

Published May 20, 2015

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