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The competition recognized student artists from around the district and awarded four college scholarships totaling $35,000.
Each year, the national competition calls upon high school students of all backgrounds and skillsets to submit their art for the chance to showcase their winning pieces in their congressional district as well as in the U.S. Capitol. Participating students win scholarships and other prizes.
“Our event has been virtual for the past two years, but it has not hurt the passion that these students put into their artwork,” Johnson said. “I want to thank every student, their parents and art teachers for keeping your enthusiasm over the past two years.”
The grand prize winner was Christopher Ramos, a freshman from Newton High School who was recognized for his piece titled “bereavement.” Ramos was awarded the grand prize, which is a $12,000 scholarship to the Savanah College of Art & Design (SCAD). Ramos’s artwork will also be displayed in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., where it will hang with other award winners from around the country for a year.
The first runner-up was Crystal Rose, a sophomore at Heritage High School in Rockdale County for her artwork titled “Jeep.” Rose won a $12,000 scholarship to The Art Institute of Atlanta, and her work will hang in Congressman Johnson’s District office for a year.
The second runner-up went to Farzana Faiza, a junior at Parkview High School in Gwinnett County for her artwork titled “Bleeding Butterflies.” Faiza was awarded a $7,500 scholarship to The Art Institute of Atlanta, and her work will also hang in Congressman Johnson’s District office for a year.
The third runner-up was Christina Kimberly Lu, a sophomore at DeKalb School of the Arts for her work titled “Don’t Let Go.” Lu was awarded a $3,500 scholarship to the Art Institute of Atlanta, and her work will hang in Congressman Johnson’s District office for a year.
The student’s artwork was assessed by a panel of local judges: Marietta Murton, a Peruvian artist who was recently featured in the Atlanta Mayor’s office of International Affairs and the Mercedes Benz North American Headquarters; Kristen Kinder, a professional photographer and Owner of Kris10 Media; Meg Williams, formerly of the High Museum of Art and currently the education coordinator at (MODA) Museum of Design; and Elmer Kinder, a freelance artist who is surgical RN at Emory Decatur Hospital.
The event included a virtual tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture by Carla Thomas McGinnis. The Smithsonian Office of Government Relations was represented by Philip LoPiccolo. This year’s art competition saw a total of 52 submissions from across high schools in DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton, and Gwinnett counties.