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Pacific Grove High School student wins annual 19th Congressional District Art Competition

WASHINGTON D.C. (KION-TV)- A Pacific Grove High School student was awarded first place for her digital artwork in the Congressional Art Competition on May 7.

Janica Hannah Soro was awarded first place for her artwork titled  “Welcome to the Neighborhood.” Soro's artwork will be displayed on display in the United States Capitol alongside winners throughout the country.

First Place Winner Janica Hannah Soro’s piece titled “Welcome to the Neighborhood” (Rep. Panetta's Office)

Students throughout Panetta's district, including San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties, submitted original artwork to the Congressional Art Competition.

Rep. Panetta recognized nine outstanding pieces by local students throughout the area.

Here is a list of the winners:

  • First Place: Janica Hannah Soro, Pacific Grove High School, “Welcome to the Neighborhood”
  • Second Place: Dening Sun, Notre Dame High School, “Struggle for a Home Long Lost”
  • Third Place: Diep Van Pham Nguyen, Independence High School, “Visions of Iridescent Flames”
  • Best in Show for Digital Artwork: An Vu, Independence High School, “A Mother’s Touch”
  • Best in Show for Pencil Drawing: Emily Chang, Valley Christian High School, “Grimes”
  • Best in Show for Painting: Caitlin Bayaca, Aptos High School, “Clockwork”
  • Best in Show for Photographer: Mary Henderson, Soquel High School, “Yaren”
  • Honorable Mention for Composition: Vivian Ming, Pacific Grove High School, “Friendly Faces”
  • Honorable Mention for Technical Skill: Selina Ge, Leland High School, “Intergenerational Trauma”
Second Place Winner, Dening Sun’s piece titled “Struggle for a Home Long Lost”, Photo courtesy of Rep. Panetta's Office
Third Place Winner, Diep Van Pham Nguyen’s piece titled “Visions of Iridescent Flames”. Photo courtesy of Rep. Panetta's Office

First-place winners and a family member are also invited to attend a special ceremony with other young artists from around the country in Washington, D.C., in June.  

“Through the arts, we gain a better understanding of ourselves, each other, and our community, which is why promoting youth arts is critical to a well-rounded education,” said Panetta.  “The Congressional Art Competition provides an outlet for young artists in California’s 19th Congressional District, and I’m proud to recognize the hard work, creativity, and passion of these immensely talented students."

Rep. Panetta Announces Congressional Art Competition for Local Students

On Monday morning, U.S. District 19 Representative Jimmy Panetta announced that submissions are now open for local high school students to participate in the annual Congressional Art Competition.

The competition is open for high school students within the 19th Congressional District, comprising portions of Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Each member of Congress has the privilege of submitting one work of art from their congressional district for this exhibition. The deadline for artwork to be submitted to Rep. Panetta's office is April 21, 2023.

"I’m looking forward to seeing the works of our young artists as we celebrate the important role of the arts in a well-rounded education and throughout our lives,” Panetta said.

Artwork entered in the contest must be original in execution, may be up to 26 inches by 26 inches, 4 inches in depth, and cannot weigh more than 15 pounds. 

Paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer-generated art, and photographs are welcome. The artwork will be judged on criteria based on originality, the skill of execution, excellence in the use of materials, and the conceptual strength of the project.

For more information on how to submit your artwork, click here.

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Derrick Ow

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