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Recent Leyden graduates win Congressional Art Contest

Wilson and Mariana and their artwork
  • Alumni
  • Awards
  • Fine Arts

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved in the nationwide competition.

Each spring, members of the U.S. House of Representatives receive artistic submission from their districts. The winning artwork of our district's competition is displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol, alongside winning artwork from other districts across the United States.

Each student and a guest were flown to Washington DC via Southwest Airlines to where they received their awards at the Congressional Art Competition Winner's Ceremony at the Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium on June 20, 2023.  The ceremony was followed by a breakfast reception.

Mariana Calderon Zapet was selected to represent the 4th Congressional District and the office of Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.  Her artwork depicts immigrants working in the fields on United States soil.  Mariana skillfully references the American flag to show this, with a bright blue sky and red rows of crops (actual painted grass glued to the canvas) to show the dreams of the workers now in the United States.  The red also symbolizes the blood, sweat, and tears that they pour into achieving their dreams.

The artwork of Wilson Rodriguez Parra was chosen by Representative Delia Ramirez of the 3rd Congressional District.  She posted photos of her and Wilson Rodriquez on her Instagram account from the event, saying, "I am so proud of Wilson & the message that his painting, "A Hope of Peace," will bring to the Capitol. I hope it inspires us to keep our shared commitments to bringing hope, peace, & relief to our communities."