Mitchell Aragona has spent his life surrounded by water parks. His grandparents own Zoom Flume in East Durham, and his father now owns his own business that focuses on the industry. So it came as no surprise that the Shaker High School senior would plan to follow in the family tradition.
This past February break, while joining his father in Memphis, Tenn., to work on a water parks, Aragona began spending time in one of the activity center’s computer rooms. While observing the technical aspects of the park, he immediately became intrigued by the back of one of the computers. Although he was on vacation, he was simultaneously working on a Computer Graphics II assignment for school, and he needed to take 100 photographs for it.
“I thought the wires were really cool, (the way they were) sticking out,” Aragona said.
Using his digital camera, Aragona snapped a few shots of behind the computer tower. One in particular caught his eye later when he looked through his work. While the photo was clearly the back of a computer, with its colorful wires plugged into compartments, he realized with another glance, it also resembled that of a dreary, almost futuristic cityscape.
“I thought it was a cool picture at first but I didn’t think anything of it until I took a second look and I thought it was really cool,” Aragona said.
Aragona’s photo, “Walk Down Memory Lane,” won’t stay just an assignment for his computer class. For the next year, the image will be on display at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., after being chosen as the winner of the 2013 Congressional Art Competition for the 20th District of New York through Congressman Paul Tonko. The competition, which started in 1982, is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and seeks to encourage artistic talent among high school students nationwide.