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DES MIONES – A 2016 graduate of the Vinton-Shellsburg High School earned a first place and a $750 scholarship Saturday at the Italian American Festival in Western Gateway Park.

Emily Howe-Vonstein, who now lives in Ames, entered a drawing of an Italian street scene.

Howe-Vonstein studied under Ann Dederickson (Ms. D) while in Vinton and is now taking classes while studying Elementary Education at Iowa State University.

Howe-Vonstein’s great grandparents moved to Fraser, Iowa, from Reggio Emilia, Italy in the 1920s.

Howe-Vonstein is named after the Italian town.

She studied abroad in Rome last fall. She visited relatives who still live in Italy. She started this drawing while in Rome and finished it this summer.

The contest was open to students of Italian descent residing in Iowa, who will be attending school in the fall at a college, university, art institute or trade school. There were two categories – drawing/painting and photography. Three scholarships were awarded – $750, $500 and $250. Only one entry per division, per artist was accepted.

“Emily has always loved drawing and took several classes from Ms. D while in high school,” said Kris Howe-Vonstein, her mother.

Her father is Eric Howe-Vonstein.