It happens every spring. No, not the start of the 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."
This year it happened here locally in the Second Congressional District of Illinois. The results are in and were announced this past Saturday by U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly of the same House district. For Kelly, just celebrating her first year in office, this was her first "Congressional Art Competition."
The winners were announced in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located at South Suburban College in South Holland.
The winner of this year's Congressional Art Competition in the Second Congressional District of Illinois is 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."
For that winning prize, Drew’s artwork will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol. He will also receive round-trip airfare for two to Washington, D.C. to attend a reception for the winners from all the congressional districts.
"I’m very proud of the 25 talented students who created such imaginative artwork," Rep. Kelly said. "The judges had a difficult task choosing the best from many remarkable pieces. My thanks also go out to the art teachers for guiding the talent and creativity of their students."
The 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.