Community, Education, Scene & Heard, Springfield

A fine line: A3 student’s art to hang in U.S. Capitol

SPRINGFIELD — “I need to do something I’m less comfortable with so I can learn more,” says artist Lillian Langford about her art.

These are mature and wise words coming from someone who is a rising senior in high school. 

This passion for learning and improving her art is demonstrated in Langford’s work. This tenacity is likely why she is an award-winning artist, though she is still in high school.

Langford

There are a lot of talented artists coming out of the Springfield Academy of Arts and Academics (A3) showing their art and winning competitions. Langford’s piece, “La Marchesa Casati” won the 2024 Congressional Art Competition for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, which will hang in the U.S. Capitol for a year.

The award-winning line drawing piece was created in Constance Van Flandern’s basic design class at Springfield Academy of Arts & Academics. 

“Lillian’s fine line work to create very subtle nuances in shade and shadow transcended the assignment,” she said of the piece. 

The ink drawing depicts Luisa Casati, an Italian socialite known for her eccentric fashion in the Edwardian era. Langford said that she was inspired by this historical figure because of “the idea of being a living work of art. I absolutely love fashion. That’s what got me into history to begin with.” 

Many of Langford’s pieces explore historical women from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, 1920s, and WWI. She is moved by “the determination of these figures in a time that was structured and conservative, when you could get really punished for being different.”

Her artwork includes other fashion icons, silent film stars, and gothic pieces.

Wilson Sherk, Langford’s teacher, said that when he first met her, she dressed as black and white, silent-era film stars every day. She’d occasionally arrive late, and when he confronted her about it, she said it was because it took her three hours to do her makeup. 

“That’s when I knew this kid was really different—in a good way,” Sherk said. “How do you take a talented person like this in the school system and create an avenue for them to survive and thrive? I think Lillian represents what this school can do with a nontraditional student that doesn’t align with the cookie cutter education.”

Langford’s other achievements include an honorable mention for “Edgar Allen Crow” at the Juried High School Art Show at Lane Community College and plans to enter the 25th annual Mayor’s Teen Art Show hosted by Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene this fall. She plans to pursue an internship at a tattoo shop next year. For her senior project, she hopes to produce Little Shop of Horrors at A3.

Sarina Dorie is an arts writer for The Chronicle.

Calls for entries

PhotoZone Gallery 34th annual juried photography show. Bring prints framed with hanging wire only. Limit two prints per person. Deliver in person to Emerald Art Center, 500 Main St., Springfield, on Saturday, June 29 or Sunday, June 30 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thejuried show exhibit will be from July 2 to Aug. 2. Cash prizes. More info: visit photozonegallery.com or email [email protected].

Zone4All non-juried open show. The show is open to all artists, and runs from Sept. 6-27. Submit up to two 2-D or 3-D pieces. 2-D artwork will need proper hanging wire to be accepted. Art submitted must be original and not created using AI. Entry fee: $15 per piece for work displayed . Deadline for online submissions: 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25. Artwork intake will be Saturday, Aug. 25 from noon-6 p.m. Submissions for artwork will be done online. Submission link to released in early July. An opening reception will be held Sept. 6 at 5:30 p.m. More info: Cheryl Owen-Wilson, [email protected] or phone/text 541-912-8800.

Reminder: Nominations close July 1 for  Springfield Heritage Awards

The Springfield Historic Commission (SHC) and Springfield History Museum (SHM) annually present the Springfield Heritage Awards (SHA), which recognize significant achievements in stewardship of the physical and cultural heritage in Springfield. The SHA launched in 2022 as a joint effort between the City’s History Museum Committee and SHC as a way to celebrate heritage activities in Springfield. More info: tinyurl.com/SpringfieldHeritageAwards. 

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