Student self-portrait to be displayed in Capitol Rotunda


Samantha Ho ’16 stands next to Congressman Brad Sherman under her pastel self-portat titled “Pointilism Study” displayed in the Capitol Rotunda. Photo used with permission of Samantha Ho.

Tiffany Kim

Samantha Ho ’16 won an award for her “Self-Portrait after Seurat,” which will be displayed in the Capitol Rotunda in June. Ho will be flown to a reception June 24 in Washington, D.C.

“Probably hundreds of thousands of people go through [the Capitol Rotunda] and will see it,” upper school art teacher Marianne Hall said. “It’s a really big deal.”

Ho’s submission was a pastel self-portrait.

The piece was an art assignment she had done during her sophomore year for Drawing and Painting I.

The background of the work is “The Circus” by Seurat.

“I picked [Seurat] because it looked difficult and I wanted a challenge,” Ho said. “I don’t like picking boring things to do. I wanted something difficult. It’s boring if it’s easy.”

Ho worked on the piece over the course of a month.

Ho developed the background over the summer and finished the requirements of the piece by the time it was due.

“I didn’t think to enter [my art],” Ho said. “I didn’t even know the competition existed until Ms. Hall told me.”

Hall thought that Ho should enter the contest to get her work out in public.

Hall described many of the artworks that Ho considered entering as political and critical of present conditions.

For one cubism art assignment, Ho’s piece included a person with an anguished face in Chinatown at night.

In Chinese script at the top, the work says, “The American Dream is dead.”

“[With all of Ho’s work], she’s never content to do it the ordinary way,” Hall said. “She will take the most difficult route. If I say, ‘I don’t think you should do it that way. It will take too much time,’ there she goes and she gets them all done.”