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Congressional competition gives students chance to display art at U.S. Capitol
art contest pic
Pitman High School student Jazmyne Griffin won last years Congressional Art Competition with her artistic creation, Midnight Forest Dreams. - photo by Journal file photo

Local students with an artistic ability fit for the United States Capitol will have the opportunity to showcase their talent during the 2016 Congressional Art Competition, an annual art contest that presents student artists with the opportunity to have their artwork displayed in Washington D.C.

Pitman High School student Jazmyne Griffin won last year’s competition with nearly 4,000 Facebook “likes” or votes for her artistic creation, “Midnight Forest Dreams.” Since then, her art has been seen by thousands of visitors in the Cannon Tunnel of the United States Capitol, alongside other winning submissions from across the country.

Adorned in piercings in her ears, septum and cheeks, the woman in “Midnight Forest Dreams” represented having a stable and durable life even when challenges appear, according to Griffin, who added that the drawing also illustrated her belief that everyone must stay strong, accept their faith and live life to the fullest.

“For the woman within the art piece, I used her as an example of how we shouldn’t judge one another by our skin color—whether we’re black or white, light skinned or dark skinned, or even black and blue—we are all God’s children and we should be seen and treated as equal individuals,” said Griffin last year.

The Congressional Art Competition was established in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents, as well as to allow these aspiring student artists the chance to display their talent and creativity. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.

Submissions for artwork are now being accepted for this year’s competition. All artwork and signed release forms must be delivered to Denham’s Modesto office at 4701 Sisk Road, Ste. 202 no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 23. Artwork that does not meet all of the requirements will not be displayed.

All artwork will be posted to Denham’s Facebook page on Feb. 25 and the public will be invited to participate in the judging process by voting for their favorite submission. Facebook voting will close at 12 p.m. on March 7. The top five submissions as determined by Facebook popularity will be submitted to a panel of judges for determination of the winner. A public reception to honor the participants and announce the winner will take place on March 8.

The winning student and one guest will be invited to an awards ceremony hosted on Capitol Hill in the summer of 2016. The student will also be able to see their artwork displayed in the national exhibition located in the Cannon Tunnel of the United States Capitol. A scholarship may also be offered to the winner to fly to Washington D.C. for the reception and announcement of the national winner. Second and third place winners will have the opportunity to display their art in Denham’s Modesto district office.

More information, including a list of official guidelines, can be found at To request release forms or for detailed inquiries, contact Denham’s project coordinator Kassi Fortado at 579-5458.