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VisArts Hosts Congressional Arts Competition

Work by high school artists from the 8th District is on display at VisArts in Rockville through May 17.

 in Rockville is hosting an exhibit of work entered in the Congressional Art Competition for High School Students sponsored by U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr.'s office now through May 17.

This is the 10th year that Van Hollen (D-Dist. 8) of Kensington personally congratulated the young artists, presenting them with certificates of participation and recognition in the national competition, which began in 1981. An awards ceremony on April 30 at  included competition participants, their families, teachers and competition sponsors and organizers.

The juried exhibit of 95 selected entries is on view in the  Kaplan Gallery at VisArts. More than 260 students from 25 local schools participated in the competition.

"When jurying a show such as this, we look for good technical skills, excellent composition, and a fresh approach to the subject," the jurors said in their statement about the exhibit.

Polymer artist Fran Abrams, painter Val Lewton and photographer Emma Norman juried the show and chose the 15 award winners. Abrams, a Rockville resident, served as director of grants for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County for 10 years.

junior Annibel Rice took first place with her conté drawing "Isolation." Her work will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for one year, beginning in June, alongside the work of winners from congressional districts around the country. 

Click here to see a photo of Rice with Van Hollen.

The Jane E. Lawton Memorial Award went to senior Natithorn Bhusri for his charcoal drawing "First Wave."

The award honors the late state delegate's devotion to the arts and recognizes "singular vision or unique use of materials, reflecting Delegate Lawton’s individuality and vitality," according to a news release from Van Hollen's office announcing the winners.

VisArts awarded its Rising Star Award for technical virtuosity to senior Chrissy Lockwood for her painting "Emily."

Runners-up, whose work will be displayed in Van Hollen's congressional offices, are:

  • Hyeung Geun Song, a junior at .
  • Lauren Ahn, a sophomore at .
  • Matthew Schick, a sophomore at .
  • Denna Ameen, a senior at .
  • Candice Collins, a senior at .
  • Julia Leiby, a senior at .

Honorable Mentions are:

  • Jennifer Guo, a sophomore at .
  • Sean Koczot, a sophomore at .
  • Dan Saadia Tuchman, a junior at .
  • Annabelle Ledgard, a sophomore at .
  • Jia Gao, a junior at .
  • Stephanie Buria-Hellbeck, a junior at .

Kaplan Gallery hours are noon to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The gallery is closed Monday and Tuesday.

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