McLaughlin’s portrait of her grandfather shown at national VFW Auxiliary Conference
By Jeff Harrison
An old photograph and a soldier’s letter home inspired a local high school student’s winning artwork.
Taryn McLaughlin, a student at Carl Albert High School, took first place in statewide art contest with a portrait of her grandfather serving in World War II. By winning the state level contest, McLaughlin’s drawing, titled “Love Letters from the Front Lines,” will now be entered into the national competition.
The VFW Auxiliary Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest recognizes up-and-coming artists and encourages patriotism in youth. A total of $21,000 in national scholarships will be awarded to eight students with the first-place national winner receiving a $10,000 scholarship
McLaughlin’s 14-inch-by-24-inch drawing was created with pan pastels.
Taryn, who will be a junior this fall, said her grandfather, Clyde McLaughlin, exemplified patriotism by leaving his loved ones and home to fight for his country in a foreign land.
“Clyde was loyal to the ideals of the American flag and doing anything he could to protect his country and the woman (Ruth) he loved,” she wrote in her entry.
Students submitted artwork for the contest this spring. The state contest winners were announced earlier this summer. McLaughlin said the news came as a surprise to her.
“I was really shocked and ecstatic when I found out,” she said. “I had forgotten about the contest and didn’t open the letter for a week.”
The state contest winners will be displayed during national convention this month in New Orleans. The national scholarship winners will be announced later this summer.