BY REBECCA BENNETT  — Hyattsville resident Harper Matsuyama won the 2015 Art in Bloom competition put on by the Brentwood Arts Exchange at the Riversdale Mansion on April 26.

Photo courtesy Harper Matsuyama.
Photo courtesy Harper Matsuyama.

According to a letter sent to her by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, Matsuyama’s work was selected because of it’s “subtle use of color and meticulous draftsmanship in [the] painting of the flowers from the museum’s garden.”

We caught up with the artist and asked her a few questions:

1. Why did you choose this flower to paint?

I was originally looking for a purple flower to paint… mostly because I really like purple, but settled for the orange because it was bright and vibrant and it really caught my eye.

2. What was it like sitting in the garden at the Riversdale Mansion?

Gorgeous! The weather was perfect and although I got a bit of dirt on my butt, I didn’t really mind, because the garden is quite lovely and well-kept.

3. Tell us about any art background you have.

Hmm. I’d like to say I’ve been in many art classes at my school, but to be honest this year is my first year taking an actual year-round art course. I have taken other classes at the National Gallery, and some other places around the DC area before (all of which I really enjoyed), and I also have studied privately with an expert professional digital artist (also pretty great).

4. Tell us about the competition. How many entries where there? Did you think you’d win?

There were about 13-15 other entries. Most were either young kids or adults, not really any in my age group. I can’t say I was sure I’d win, but I was certainly hoping I would. I was happy to win because it was an encouraging experience and the biggest prize I’ve ever won for an art competition.