Heard on the Hill

Is Illinois Teen’s Portrait a Political Statement?

To the casual observer, “Tea Party for One” may appear to be just another pic of a headless woman enjoying a proper cuppa.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

But the longer we admired the award-winning portrait — which was produced by Geneva Community High School senior Avie Churchwell and now hangs in the tunnels beneath the Capitol, courtesy of Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill. — the more questions poured into our gray matter.

  • Could Churchwell be jamming her paint-speckled thumb into the non-existent eyes of the leaderless tea party movement — the very entity that helped sweep Hultgren into office in 2010?
  • Is a single person enough to bestow “party” status on a gathering, conservative-themed or otherwise?
  • Do all teenage girls slog through life convinced they are totally invisible to the world around them?
  • How much must disembodied tea drinkers spend on dry cleaning? (That drink’s just going to go everywhere.)
Sadly, Churchwell did not respond to requests to discuss her haunting vision — a snub that left us feeling very much unfulfilled, invisible even.