Congressional Art Competition winners, runners-up announced

Online Staff Report

U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., have announced the winners and runners-up for the annual Congressional Art Competition, “An Artistic Discovery.”

The first-place winner in Bustos’ 17th District is Kamryn Gryp from Pekin Community High School. She will have her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for the next year.

I’d like to congratulate all the young and talented artists from our region of Illinois who submitted their original artwork for this year’s art competition,” Bustos said. “As someone who appreciates the value of arts to education, I’m pleased that we had such wonderful participation in this year’s competition and look forward to displaying Kamryn’s work in the U.S. Capitol and artwork from the runners-up in our offices.”

The five runners-up in the 17th District are Andrei Lareau from Moline High School, who will have his artwork displayed in Bustos’ Rock Island office; Enrique Garcia from Roosevelt Alternative High School, who will have his artwork displayed in Bustos’ Rockford office; Cecilia Ottens from Milledgeville High School, who will have her artwork displayed in Bustos’ Washington, D.C. office; Garret Kesselmayer from Pekin Community High School, who will have his artwork displayed in Bustos’ Galesburg office; and Remi Sweeney from East Peoria Community High School, who will have his artwork displayed in Bustos’ Peoria office.

To view all the artwork submitted to Bustos’ office, visit

Kinzinger announced the winner of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition in the 16th District —Alejandro Escobar, a senior at Rochelle Township High School — at a reception in Ottawa, Ill., Friday, May 2. Alejandro’s artwork will travel to Washington, D.C., where it will be displayed in a year-long exhibit with other national winners.

We had some really incredible entries this year, which made picking a single winner very difficult,” said Kinzinger. “They all showed a lot of talent, but Alejandro’s piece stood out with its color and creativity. It will represent well the artistic skill of 16th District students in Washington.”

Four other students received honorable mentions for their entries and will have their artwork displayed in Kinzinger’s district and Washington, D.C., offices. They were Morris High School junior Alexis Halcomb, Wilmington High School freshman Alexis Ivec, Wilmington sophomore Dylan Wallace, and Polo High School junior Madison Merdian.

The Congressional Art Competition, first held in 1982, is a nationwide high school arts competition sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives. One winning piece of artwork from each House district will be selected to be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., for the next year. The runners-up will have their artwork displayed in Illinois and Washington, D.C., offices. The winner of the competition in each district also won two round-trip airline tickets to Washington, D.C.

Any high school student from the respective House districts was eligible to submit their original artwork for consideration.

Posted May 7, 2014

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