It happened last spring and it happened once again this spring. No, not the start of the Major League Baseball season, although that part is true. No, what happens every spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated in the “Congressional Art Competition.”
Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced the winners of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition for high school students, during a reception at Prairie State College’s Christopher Art Gallery. This year’s winner was a student from Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights. The student, Jordyn Bush, won first place for her entry titled, “Jordyn Alexis.” Jordyn’s artwork will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol. She was also awarded two round-trip tickets to Washington D.C. to attend a reception honoring the winning artists from all 50 states.
“I was amazed by the talent of these young artists,” Kelly said. “Each one deserved a special award for creativity and imagination. I hope they will continue to express themselves through art and develop their remarkable talent. My thanks also go out to the art teachers for guiding their students and inspiring them to create such beautiful works.”
First runner-up was Emma Novak, a student at Homewood-Flossmoor, for her piece titled, “Macarons.” Second runner-up was Lucy Sloan, also from Homewood-Flossmoor High School, for “Gone Hunting.” And third runner-up was Maria Salcedo, of Marian Catholic High School, for “Ms. Music.”
Thirty students representing four high schools submitted entries. Other schools participating included Hillcrest High School and Independence High School. The high school art competition was established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 to acknowledge and support the artistic talent of America’s young adults.
Last year’s winners were announced in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located at South Suburban College in South Holland. The 2014 winner of the Congressional Art Competition in the Second Congressional District of Illinois was James “Drew” Richardson, a resident of Chicago’s South Side and a student at Walter Payton High School, who won first place for his entry titled, “Train of Thought.”
Last year’s second place winner was Loreta Sutkus, a student at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, for her piece titled, “Power Up the System.” The third place winner was Isabel Angulo, of Thornton High School, for “Special Deliveries.”
Three students received honorable mentions:
• Nathan Williams, of Bloom Trail High School, for “Fairy Tale.”
• Ricky Palmer of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, for “I Came to Meditate to My Flute Music.”
• Jamaal Gayles, of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, for “The Shame of Us.”
Twenty-five students representing five high schools and the Tall Grass Arts Association submitted entries.
Author’s note: John Presta is a volunteer political communications and social media consultant to Congresswoman Robin Kelly.