Dog competition

Pine River-Backus Student Wins Annual Congressional Art Contest – Pine and Lakes Echo Journal

PINE RIVER – Pine River-Backus ninth grader Raena Hanneken won first place in the 41st annual Congressional Art Contest with her artwork ‘Scenic Sunset at Split Rock.’

Raena Hanneken has placed at least twice in the annual Congressional Art Contest with her top spot announced on May 4, 2022 by the office of Congressman Pete Stauber.


“I’m pretty proud,” Hanneken said. “I won second place last year but I was hoping to be first this time.”

Eighth District Congressman Pete Stauber announced the results May 4.

“Scenic Sunset at Split Rock” will hang in the United States Capitol alongside winning artwork from other congressional districts across the country.

Hanneken said she saw where they were on display in a tunnel leading from the Capitol to the US Senate offices.

“It’s really cool,” Hanneken said. “I got to see other paintings when I was up there. I just wanted to be up there too, so I submitted mine.”

Hanneken has already placed twice in the competition. His first entry in a college pageant was as the family dog, Maisie, a black lab, sitting in a canoe on a Minnesota lake. In 2021, she entered a realistic painting of Babe the Blue Ox, titled “Minnesota’s Babe (the Blue Ox)”, which won second place.

Stauber said in a press release, “Congratulations Raena on your winning artwork and thank you to all of the very talented students who participated in this year’s Congressional Art Competition. All of the submissions this year were so special, and I’m still incredibly proud of the artistry that comes from northeast Minnesota. I look forward to seeing this beautiful scene from Split Rock displayed in the halls of Congress every time I go to the Capitol to vote.

The Congressional Art Contest is held each spring. Students are encouraged to visit Stauber’s


to learn more.