SALEM — Jennifer Nelson, the 18-year-old daughter of Richard and Brenda Nelson of Salem, has won a $10,000 scholarship as the first-place winner of the 2004-2005 National Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
A 2005 graduate from Spanish Fork High School, Nelson was looking for ways to help cover her college expenses. She found the contest information on the Internet and became interested because one of her grandfathers fought on the front lines in Italy in World War II and received a Purple Heart. She wanted to do something to honor war veterans. Another grandfather was a sailor on a warship.
The result is an oil painting called "Unseen Soldiers."
"This painting gives an identity to the nameless graves of soldiers all across America from many different wars," she said. "The sky is meant to represent the flag which is draped over them."
Nelson was sponsored by the Timpanogos Ladies Auxiliary VFW #4918 of American Fork.
She plans to attend Brigham Young University-Idaho this fall, majoring in art.
"This is definitely a blessing for me," Nelson said. "I am the oldest of seven children so I was scared to death about how I was going to pay for college. I was also intrigued because this had to do with art and with my heritage."