Press Releases

Rep. Smith Announces Jackson High School Student wins Congressional Art Competition

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Cape Girardeau, May 18, 2019 | comments

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Congressman Jason Smith (MO-08) announced today a Jackson High School student has won “Best of Show” in the annual 8th Congressional District Art Competition. Congressman Smith’s office accepted more than 120 submissions from local high school artists in southeast and south central Missouri, and today Congressman Smith congratulated Liza Schell from Jackson High School as the winner of the “Best of Show” competition.

“The Congressional Art Competition is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talented high school artists here in southern Missouri,” said Congressman Smith. “Congratulations to Liza Schell from Jackson High School for winning Best of Show, and thank you to all of the artists who participated and submitted outstanding pieces of art. Liza’s artwork will now hang in the United States Capitol for a year, where lawmakers and thousands of visitors will walk past it each day.”

In this year’s competition, Congressman Smith asked students to share what patriotism in Missouri looks like to them. Liza focused her drawing on one of her sister’s friends, Oluwaranti. In the piece, Oluwaranti is surrounded by photographs that show a blending of her Nigerian heritage with the culture she grew up with in Missouri.

“I love being able to tell a story through my artwork, and it is a huge honor to be awarded among so many talented artists” said Liza Schell. “My piece was inspired by one of my sister’s good friends, Oluwaranti, who was born of Nigerian descent in the United States. Her family’s story inspired me to illustrate the diversity of the U.S. and the story of Oluwaranti and her family achieving the American dream.”

Liza is a Junior at Jackson High School and created her drawing with charcoal pencils in her Advanced Studio Art Class, taught by Andrea Talley.

“The Congressional Art Competition is an awesome opportunity for these kids to showcase their talents and put their thoughts and feelings into their work,” said Andrea Talley, art teacher at Jackson High School. “This year’s theme was what patriotism means to the artist, and Liza’s interpretation took a different turn than most might expect. The talent, thought, and meaning behind her work provided a cool twist that shows different cultures melding together and making a life in the United States. I think it’s great that Congressman Smith does this every year and helps recognize these high school artists.”

The Congressional High School Art Competition was created by the Congressional Institute in 1982 as a way to recognize and encourage artistic ability in each congressional district throughout the country. 

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Tags: Education