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Idaho Falls 6th grader has artwork featured in White House exhibit

Idaho Falls

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11-year-old Evalyn McGaha meets with First Lady Melania Trump outside the White House on Monday. Evalyn’s art was selected to be displayed at the Building the Movement Exhibit: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage. | Courtesy photo

IDAHO FALLS — A sixth grader from Idaho Falls recently visited the White House as part of the Building the Movement Exhibit, an art contest marking the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

First Lady Melania Trump hosted 11-year-old Evalyn McGaha and 49 other third- through 12th-grade students from around the United States at the White House Monday. Evalyn was selected as Idaho’s winner in the art contest.

“It was a little nerve-racking and exciting,” Evalyn told EastIdahoNews.com.

While at the ceremony, Evalyn met with Trump and shared a little more about her artwork. She drew a design with a symbol she felt best-represented women’s suffrage along with the slogan, “Vote for Women!”

“I said hi, it’s so great to meet you,” Evalyn said about her meeting with Trump. “She said ‘thank you’ and asked what my symbol is about.”

Evalyn’s submission included several symbols built into a single image that “gave women across this great country hope that one day their voice would be heard,” according to its description.

The artwork that 11-year-old Evalyn McGaha submitted as part of the “Building the Movement Exhibit: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage” art contest.

Shortly before the deadline for submissions, Evalyn’s mother, Vonda Dorner saw the contest posted on the First Lady’s Facebook page. She thought it would be good chance to learn more about women’s suffrage with her daughter. It also served to further Evalyn artistic ability, which she plans to make a career with some day.

“I was just very proud of her,” Dorner said. “It was exciting for her to see women in political roles and how they make a difference and to inspire her.”

Not only was the first lady at the opening of the exhibit. Trump was joined by Second Lady Karen Pence, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza, Senior Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and other elected officials, according to the White House.

“The Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s right to vote was a turning point in the history of women’s rights in the United States and stood as an example to the world,” Trump said at the opening of the exhibit. “This exhibit should create a platform to encourage parents to engage with their children on the important conversations taking place around equality – giving young people an opportunity to learn and understand the history behind the women’s suffrage movement.”

11-year-old Evalyn McGaha of Idaho Falls standing by her artwork featured in the Building the Movement Exhibit: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage. | Courtesy photo

Following the presentation of the art with the ceremony, Evalyn and her mother took a tour of the White House.

“It was big and fancy and had old pictures of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln,” Evalyn said. “There were so many rooms.”

Someday, Evalyn said she wants to follow in their footsteps and become the first woman president of the United States to make a difference.

“This is something that had both her passions, for both her country and for art,” Dorner said.

To view all of the winners in the exhibit view the official website commemorating the centennial of women’s suffrage.

11-year-old Evalyn McGaha as she visits the White House after her artwork was selected for the Building the Movement Exhibit: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage. | Courtesy photo
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