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Goodhue student's work to adorn Kline's wall

Rural Goodhue resident Karl Trost, 15, recently won third place in the Congressional Artistic Discovery Art Contest for Minnesota's Second Congressional District. His colored-pencil drawing will be hung in U.S. Rep. John Kline's Burnsville, Minn., office for the next year.

Karl Trost is used to having his artworks exhibited in 4-H displays at the Goodhue County Fair and at the Minnesota State Fair.

But now the freshman from rural Goodhue will get one of his colored-pencil drawings displayed in a slightly different setting: U.S. Rep. John Kline's office.

Karl recently won third place in the Congressional Artistic Discovery Art Contest for Minnesota's Second Congressional District. His work will be hung in Kline's Burnsville office for the next year.

"I know I get really excited when I get to go to the state fair with a piece, but this I thought was a bigger opportunity," Karl said.

Karl first heard about the annual contest, which is open to all high school students, in early spring. At that time, he had been working on a piece featuring his family's dog, Kurly, which he was planning on entering in the 4-H exhibit later this year.

"When we saw this, we said, well, you've gotta try this," Karl's father, Tim Trost, said.

Karl and his three siblings are homeschooled. Tim, a professional illustrator, said as their art teacher he tries to introduce his children to a lot of different media.

"Karl has really gravitated toward drawing," Tim said.

Karl worked to finish the piece before the April 19 deadline. Working off of a photograph that 13-year-old brother Dan took of the family pet, Karl depicted the dog in front of the Trosts' barn.

"We are extremely proud ... of how he captured the whole personality ... of our dog," Tim said. "He nailed it. It comes through in the eyes."

There were several dozen other works entered in the Second District contest, said Troy Young, a spokesman for Kline. The pieces are judged by Kline's staff and local community art experts.

The Trosts were notified by email that Karl had won third place

"I never thought something like that would be possible. You always think you probably wouldn't win anything," Karl said. "I didn't really know what to know what to say."

Karl and his family met Kline at his Burnsville office last Friday.

"The Minnesota Second District is home to some extremely talented young artists," Young said. "The congressman is really pleased to promote the efforts of these talented young artists."

Tim added that meeting Kline was a good experience for his family.

"It was just neat to find out more about people that you just hear about in the news," he said.

Karl's piece is being framed, Young said, and will be hung in Kline's office in the near future.

The Congressional Artistic Discovery Art Contest is a nationwide program. First-, second- and third-place winners are chosen from each district across the country. First-place works are hung in the U.S. Capitol. The first- and second-place winners for the Second District are from Lakeville and Apple Valley, respectively.

While Tim said he and Karl were "crossing their fingers" for first place, he is still "very, very proud" of his son's accomplishment.

"I think that's kind of cool that my piece of art is hanging up in a congressman's office," Karl added.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.