CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — A 2021 graduate from Carl Junction recently took a trip that had a very personal touch to it.

This past March, Hailey Koester and her family toured the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol — it’s where her artwork hangs. Her art will hang in the Capitol building for one year, after winning the 2021 Congressional Art Competition for District 7, a decision made by U.S. Representative, Billy Long.

The art piece is a charcoal drawing of her friend Shiloh Shudder. She titled the drawing, “Moving Forward.”

“I think the message is kind of to move forward in life, especially with everything that we’ve been going through and dealing with. Um, it’s been hard, and so I think, that this piece is supposed to kind of just resemble that,” said Hailey.

“Knowing that she has that kind of foresight and thought process made me proud as a parent that she wants people to look at the past and make the future a better place,” said Chris Koester, Hailey’s father.

Hailey says this win encouraged her to pursue a career in fine arts. She is currently going to Crowder College for her associates and has plans to attend the College of the Ozarks for a fine arts degree.