Perpich News

Nina Holding Eagle-Bushaw (Visual Arts 2023) Earns First Place in 5th Congressional District Art Competition, Lee Greve (Visual Arts 2023) Earns Second Place

May 12, 2023

Holding Eagle-Bushaw (third from right) and Greve (second from left) are pictured with their family members and Rep. Ilhan Omar (center)

Congratulations to our Congressional Art Competition Winners, Nina Holding Eagle-Bushaw (Visual Arts 2023) and Lee Greve (Visual Arts 2023)! On May 4th, the 5th Congressional District Art Competition winners were announced at a reception hosted by Rep. Ilhan Omar. Nina Holding Eagle-Bushaw earned first place in the competition! Her artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year and she’ll receive two tickets to fly to D.C. to attend the National Arts Competition Ceremony. Lee Greve earned second place in the competition. Their artwork will be displayed in Rep. Omar’s Washington D.C. office for one year. Congratulations, Nina and Lee!

In Nina’s artist statement for her piece, Am I Your Stereotype?, she said, “In 1939, Mia the Butter Maiden was designed for the packaging of ‘Land O’ Lakes’ butter boxes. In 1954, she was redesigned by an indigenous man, Patrick DesJarlait, who was born in Red Lake, MN in 1921. I personally appreciate him for the redesign, because while it didn’t remove the problems with her existence, he added traditional floral patterning to her beadwork, creating a more realistic idea of an indigenous woman in American minds. From Mia’s conception, indigenous people have lived in the heads of many as this beautiful butter maiden. Even before that, women were sexualized, men became savages in popular media. It’s just that with Mia, it took to the quiet battlefield of our everyday packaging and branding. In 2020, during the time following the George Floyd protests when many companies began to reconsider their racist imagery, Mia the Butter Maiden was removed from the Land O’ Lakes packaging. This does not fix the problem. In some ways, this erases it. To pretend she was never there is arguably as bad as creating her at all. To take away bad representation without replacing it with something better is just taking away representation. This story is undeniably Minnesotan, due to how many elements of it are steeped in our history. Mia wears clothing of indigenous people of Minnesota, was drawn by a Red Lake Ojibwe man, kneels in a real location in Minnesota, and was removed during a time of reckoning originating in Minnesota. So, I ask, do the Indigenous people of Minnesota fit your stereotype?”

Holding Eagle-Bushaw (left) with Rep. Ilhan Omar (right)

Jeremy Lundquist, Visual Arts Instructor, said, “I am thrilled that Nina’s screenprint, Am I Your Stereotype?, was awarded 1st prize and will be on display in Washington D.C. Nina brought fully-developed ideas and imagery for this piece that she wanted to translate into a screenprint. She went above and beyond in the creation of the work, printing eight separate layers while allowing room for the imagery to change as it was translated from a digital drawing to a physical print. I think it is a print that really encapsulates Nina’s way of working as an artist. She put in a lot of time into the research and development of the idea. She took elements of visual culture and made it her own in order to critique the world around her, both historically and via a contemporary lens.”

Conn McCartan, Perpich Arts High School Principal, said, “Given the authenticity that Nina consistently brings to her work, it is no surprise to me that this piece was chosen to be on display at our nation’s capital.”

Rebecca Bullen, Perpich Arts High School Assistant Principal, said, “Nina is an insightful and dedicated artist whose work expresses identity through questioning knowledge and perception. I am thrilled that her voice will be seen in the center of where policies are made.”

Nina Holding Eagle-Bushaw is from Moorhead, MN and is the child of Andrew Bushaw and Jamie Holding Eagle. Nina previously attended Moorhead High School in Moorhead, MN.

Greve (left) with Rep. Ilhan Omar (right)

On receiving second place in the competition, Lee Greve said, “It’s awesome news and a huge honor. The connections we share with people across space and time is something that’s really important to me, and I’m excited that other people are going to continue to enjoy my art!”

Lindsey Schmitt, Visual Arts Instructor, said, “I love to see Lee recognized for their talent, ideas, draftsmanship, and artistic exploration. The artwork selected was made as a part of Lee’s capstone painting series titled, Under the Same Sky. Lee is all about the details. They researched their subject matter and inspiration extensively, chose a specific spot to paint for natural lighting to understand the color theory and palette of the portraits as best as possible, was dedicated to the painting process, and edited the final presentation of the work thoughtfully. Congratulations Lee, I’m proud of you!”

Lee Greve is from Mankato, MN and is the child of Britta and Jon Greve. Lee previously attended Mankato East High School in Mankato, MN.

The 5th Congressional District Art Competition is open to all high schoolers who live or attend school in Minnesota’s Fifth District, where Perpich Arts High School is located. The theme for this year’s competition centered around how art is often the context that helps us understand who we are and where our common ground is. The theme for this year’s MN05 Art Competition was Discovering Minnesota. Rep. Omar’s website stated, “Our state is full of diverse communities and environments. Every person has a different perspective on what their surroundings look like to them. From our landscape to our wildlife, our high towers and neighborhoods. We encounter our state in a variety of manners. Through your own lens, how would you portray the Minnesota you have discovered and interact with every day? This year, I encourage students to think about how they view Minnesota and share it through their art.”