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Seneca Valley senior gets silver in national art competition

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Cara Morgan, 18, of Evans City a senior at Seneca Valley High School won a silver medal in the 2014 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition in New York City for her acrylic painting titled “Toy Project.”

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Saturday, March 22, 2014, 2:23 p.m.

Cara Morgan plans to pursue a career in mathematics and accounting, but it's her talent in the arts that has earned her national recognition.

Morgan, 18, of Evans City won a silver medal in the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition in New York City for her acrylic painting “Toy Project.”

The award surprised the Seneca Valley senior who said she begrudgingly entered the painting in the regional contest at the urging of her teacher Jim Nagle. Morgan won a Gold Key award in the regional competition in February, which entitled her to move on to the national competition.

“She's kind of surprised that anyone would take noticed of the things she's making,” Nagle said. “It's fun when they are the way they are and not conceited and have genuine surprise of winning something outside of their expected area of expertise. It was just really good.”

The painting Morgan entered was done as part of drawing class project. Nagle said she was drawing so quickly and so well that he gave her a larger project.

She made a contour line drawing of a Power Ranger toy into a painting, a process that took about two months, Morgan said.

It was an enjoyable break from juggling numbers, which is how Morgan usually spends her days.

“It's more of a relaxing class than anything,” she said. “All of my other classes are math, and I come into painting, and it's just doing something completely different.”

Morgan said she plans to attend Duquesne University to major in accounting.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, dating to 1923, honors teen artists and writers in grades seven through 12. Past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath and Truman Capote, according to the organization's website.

Morgan will be invited to attend an awards ceremony and presentation at Carnegie Hall in New York City later this year.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 .

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