Daily Campello Art News: Congressional Art Competition: Maryland’s 8th District


Many years ago, I had the honor of being asked to help select the winner of the annual Congressional Art Competition for then Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and thus this competition holds a special place near my art heart.

Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th District, and as part of this year’s competition, his office graciously sent me the following info:

The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself by Olivia Ensign of Albert Einstein High School
The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself
by Olivia Ensign of Albert Einstein High School

This year’s winner is Olivia Ensign from Albert Einstein High School in Kensington. Olivia’s submission, “The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself,” will hang in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year alongside winning art pieces from congressional districts across the nation.

The second place winners include: Alanna Sidlowski, Betsi Ralda-Romera, Dami Kim, Dhruv Narang, Elizabeth Daly, Ella Spirtas, Etian Huang, Joseph Bloomfield, Lily Pacuit, Lucinda Sun, Mikae Fasihi, Nari Kim, Natalie McMurry, Olivia Dietrich, Rebecca Rothstein, Ryan Crothers and Yael Chinn.

Each 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. Now in its 42nd year, more than 650,000 high school students have participated since the competition’s inception in 1982.

And I approve! WOW! This artist is not only superbly talented, but already shows the skills of a much mature painter: The composition is brilliant and that elusive quality of self-portraiture – the ability to catch a psychological in-print – is there!

In an interview with WTOP, Raskin said, “the winner’s piece, I could only describe it as spellbinding!”

Congratulations to Ensign, and to the Congressman and his staff and whoever assisted him in the selection process – well done!

All the entries are online here. I also quite liked Streets of Singapore by Mikael Fasihi of Landon School and Birdie by Nadula Ediriweera of Walt Whitman High School.

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