SJC students compete in Congressional Art Competition

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Art students at St. John’s recently competed for a spot in the U.S. Capitol as part of the annual Congressional Art Competition.

Caroline Lander ‘20 was named a finalist on Wednesday, as the students’ art was on display at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Chinatown.

Since 1982, the Congressional Institute has hosted a competition to promote the arts around the country. Each district judges art submissions from their local high schools, and the winners from each have their work displayed in the U.S. Capitol hallway between the House and Senate chambers for a full year.

Lander, who says she plans on studying art in college, says she thought entering the competition would be a good experience.

“Both of the pieces I choose to submit were part of my A.P. Art concentration where I explored human connection in D.C.,” she said in an email interview Thursday. “The piece on the D.C. map was meant to represent the broadness and abstractness of connection, while the piece on Chinatown was meant to represent a physical place where there are cultural connections.”

Ms. Mills, the A.P. Art Teacher at St. John’s, said, “We’ve been participating for years. We always have 10, 15 or so. The competition is really cool. It’s a nice idea and I think it’s cool to have art from every state. It’s a great opportunity for the kids.”

While a student from the National Cathedral School was named the winner, Lander was part of the top 16 out of 110 entries from 102 students. Tia Wilson ‘20, Helena Weiss ‘21, Heidy Martinez ‘22, and Je Hoon Cho ‘21 also entered.

D.C.’s non-voting House Representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton, hosted the reception for student entrants. The gallery featured all of the entries from public and private schools across Washington. She praised the efforts of her staff to expand the competition, and said she hoped to display some of the top entries elsewhere in the district.

“If you didn’t know that these were made by high school students, you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Holmes Norton said in a speech.

Lander said she was she got the opportunity to enter the competition and that her art was recognized among so many other great student artists in D.C.

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