Kiggans Announces Winners of 2023 Congressional Art Competition 

May 04, 2023

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: This week, at a reception hosted at Virginian Wesleyan University, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced Dayna Watt as the winner of the Virginia Second District 2023 Congressional Art Competition. Dayna currently attends Nansemond River High School and won with her piece, Self Portrait.

The following students were announced as runners-up:

  • Amiyah Hayes from Salem High School Visual and Performing Arts Academy was awarded second place for her work titled Memories of Something Softer
  • Madison Carr from Nansemond River High School was awarded third place for her work titled Insecurities
  • Camden Cranmore from Catholic High School received the “Congresswoman’s Choice Award” for her piece titled Wings of a Warrior
  • Amanda Mullins from Nansemond River High School received the “Staff Choice Award” for her piece titled Going Fishing
  • Ava Terry from the Governor’s School for the Arts received an Honorable Mention for her piece titled Too Hard to Choose
  • Jasmine Bugarin from Salem High School Visual and Performing Arts Academy received an Honorable Mention for her piece titled Borborygmus

“I’m amazed by the level of talent, dedication, and thoughtfulness that our Hampton Roads high school students put into their submissions,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I couldn’t be more proud of the young artists that we have in Virginia’s Second District! Congratulations to all the winners on their hard work. I can’t wait to see your artwork hanging in the U.S. Capitol and all of my offices!”

In total, the Congresswoman received over 70 submissions this year from eight different high schools across Virginia’s Second Congressional District. The first-place winner is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony in Washington, D.C. and their artwork will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for an entire year. The second-place winning entry will hang in Congresswoman Kiggans’ Washington, D.C. office for a year. The remaining winners will have their artwork on display in the Congresswoman’s multiple district offices. Congresswoman Kiggans will also be holding a ‘People’s Choice Award’ on her Facebook page, where constituents can vote for their favorite artwork. The student who receives the most votes for the People’s Choice Award will also get to have their artwork on display in one of her District offices for one year.

The Congressional Art Competition, which began in 1982, is an annual contest run by the U.S. House of Representatives where high school students from across the country are invited to showcase their artistic abilities. Entrants must reside in the Congressional district in which they enter, and works are considered by a panel of local judges. Judges selected by the Congresswoman this year were: John Rudel, Virginia Wesleyan University Professor of Art and Director of Undergraduate Research and Curator of Exhibitions for the Neil Britton Art Gallery, Katherine Custer, Manager of School and Educator Programs at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, and Jeffery Heiser, Adjunct Professor of Art at Tidewater Community College.


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