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ARTIST SPOTLIGHTS A `MODEL DAD' TEEN WINS NATIONWIDE HONOR WITH PORTRAIT OF HIS FATHER.

Byline: SUE DOYLE Staff Writer

VALENCIA - It started as an art project for school.

It ended up as a winner in the National Congressional Art Competition.

And now the portrait of Jordan Recchia's father, Dennis, will hang for a year as part of a national exhibit in Washington, D.C. Recchia was a winner in California's 25th Congressional District, which includes Santa Clarita. A Valencia High School junior, he is pleased that artwork portraying his father won what he considered a great contest.

``I used my dad because he's been an inspiration in my life; he's been a mentor,'' Recchia said about his choice of subjects. ``What better piece to win?''

Jordan originally painted his father for a project in his advanced-placement art class. The assignment was to create a series of 12 pieces of a subject from different angles and perspectives.

He chose his father as the subject because he has ``gotten me to where I am,'' the young artist said. Sometimes he drew his father while he watched TV or sat on the living room couch, A portrait in oil pastels from this series that won honors for the son.

After seeing other entries in the competition, Jordan wasn't sure if his work was the type judges might want. Many entries depicted the Santa Clarita Valley - its mountains and skyline, not its people and especially not the head of one man.

But now his painting will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel, a pedestrian walkway leading to the U.S. Capitol. So how does Jordan's father feel about his face being viewed by millions of people in Washington?

``I think it's kind of funny, actually,'' Dennis Recchia, 53, said. ``I'm kind of a guy who likes to stay in the background, but he thrust me to the forefront.''

The father, who does computer animation for a major motion picture company, has seen his son's talent develop through the years - from elementary school projects to the work of a serious young artist.

It doesn't hurt to have artists for parents. In early childhood, Jordan often sat in his mother's or father's lap and watched the parent work. His mother, Janet, was a fashion artist in New York and now is an independent art teacher.

But Jordan aims to carve out his own niche as an artist, separate from his parent's careers. He hopes one day to design cars - an interest formed when he was age 4 and saw the Disney film classics about Herbie, a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.

``It's been a passion all my life,'' Jordan said.

sue.doyle(at)dailynews.com

(661) 257-5254

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(color) Jordan Recchia holds his winning portrait of his father while his parents, Dennis and Janet Recchia, look on outside their home in Valencia. The portrait will hang for a year in a national exhibit in Washington, D.C.

Tom Mendoza/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 21, 2006
Words:487
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