BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Theresia Zhang, a Baltimore resident and junior at the Maryland Institute College of Art, has won the inaugural edition of “The Art of Racing,” a statewide art competition run by the school and the organizers of the Preakness Stakes.

Zhang’s work, entitled “Speed,” hovers above a jockey hunched forward on their mount and tightly gripping the reins. With the rider’s magenta silks matching the horse’s noseband, and the jockey leaning in tight, the two subjects appear to blend into one.

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In an artist’s statement, Zhang wrote: “Titled ‘Speed’ because I intentionally illustrate the velocity of the horse race and the tension between the determined rider, horse, and the victory through a slow-motion like shot. Textures are used to mimic painting style while keeping it realistic & believable. The figure can be detached from the background.”

“Speed” was picked from 147 works — one for each year of the Preakness Stakes.

“Preakness is such an important part of the spirit of Maryland, and I am thrilled that my piece was selected to represent what the event means to the community,” said Zhang, who is originally from China and has lived in the U.S. for the last five years. “By participating in this event, I get to know more about this city culturally.”

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As the winner of the contest, she’ll collect a $4,000 stipend and two tickets to the 147th Preakness Stakes. Zhang said she’ll donate a portion of the award to Park Heights Renaissance, an affordable housing nonprofit operating near Pimlico Race Course.

“Speed” will be incorporated into a collection of merchandise, including posters, journals and T-shirts, available for sale on Preakness weekend. Proceeds from the sale of those items will also go toward Park Heights Renaissance.

The Stronach Group, which owns the Maryland Jockey Club, and MICA launched “The Art of Racing” contest on Jan. 10. Submissions were accepted until March 2, after which voters got to pick their favorites.

The top 10 vote-getters were judged by a panel of elected officials, community leaders and artists.

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“MICA faculty and students have been honored to participate in the call for entries tied to the tradition of Preakness,” said Dr. Tiffany Holmes, MICA’s Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “Many of our students embraced the challenge in the new The Art of Racing competition and created a diverse array of work that celebrates this Baltimore spring event.”

Brandon Weigel