Congressional Art Competition 2012

269This Side in ParadiseSecond Place
(poster color, watercolor)

Every year, the Congressional Institute holds a competition called the Congressional Art Competition that recognizes high school artistic talent throughout the United States. I had the great opportunity to participate in this competition and a greater honor to win second place. The Congressional Art Competition holds no theme nor guidelines to what you have to paint or draw; it’s all up to the artist’s preference. There are a series of districts within each state and a winner is picked from each district. The winners’ art pieces are then showcased at the White House.
In the 2012 CAC, I entered my piece, “This Side In Paradise.” I used poster color, which is similar to gauche, and watercolor to evoke a sense of peace and beauty while using vibrant colors.
Elephants are beautiful creatures and souls. However, I sometimes believe that their grey complexion does not serve justice to their beauty. In my piece, I’ve colored the elephant in all the different hues you could ever imagine in my own unique technique. So even though, it still has that wrinkly folds of its skin, the colors make it look even more majestic and grand. “This Side in Paradise” slowly unfolds its story as you examine the painting in more detail. You’ll soon notice the pairs of shoes haphazardly resting in the flowers, and the bicycles positioned near the trunk. The boy and the girl are sitting beneath the elephant, marveling at their surroundings with complacent and peaceful expressions on their faces. Other than these few details, I’ve left the rest to the viewer’s interpretation. They will be able to make their own version of stories behind this painting, which adds more to the mystery of this piece, making it more magical and beautiful.

In choosing the winner of this competition is a panel of judges including Barbara Lee, California’s District 13 representative. I actually got to meet her in person, which was pretty cool. For only winning second place, I’ve still gained a lot from this competition. 
014019 (2)

While creating my art piece, which took a very long time, I pondered over how art is a play of different techniques and colors. The endless number of patterns and creation you can create with a single brush and different colored pigments is amazing to me. In itself, it’s like a language that is universal to every eye.  Whether or not you like, you’ll still be able to understand and interpret.
I appeared in the article on Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s media page. Here’s the link:

Here’s another link for an article that includes me and more info on this competition:

For more information on the Congressional Art Competition, visit this website:


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