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Congressional art competition showcases student talent from AOC’s district

Photo courtesy of the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez

Apr. 23, 2024 By Iryna Shkurhan

Students from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district gathered in Astoria last week to showcase their visual art submissions for the Congressional Art Competition.

The inaugural showcase, held on April 19 at the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens on 30th Road in Astoria, displayed several pieces by high school students from The Bronx and Queens who are part of District 14. Local organizations and community groups in attendance set up tables at the showcase to share relevant resources and opportunities with the students. 

Since the program began in 1982, one winner from each congressional district across the country has been selected each spring. More than 650,000 high school students nationwide have participated in the contest. 

“Each year, I am inspired by the remarkable talent and boundless creativity showcased in the submissions for the Congressional Art Competition, particularly the profound connections students forge between their artwork and their communities,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “From captivating paintings to evocative photographs, each piece showed the immense talent and limitless potential of our young artists.”

Students in attendance also had the chance to work on creating new pieces at the Variety Boys and Girls Club community space. Photo courtesy of the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez

Last year, the winner in the 14th district was Prisca Boadu. Her piece, “No Place Like Home,” depicts her family—immigrants from Ghanafinding a home in The Bronx. The acrylic painting was selected as a winner for its artistic strength and representation of immigrant families in the district. 

A panel of district artists will select the winner of this year’s competition. Winners in each district will have the opportunity to travel to Washington, where their work will be exhibited with other district winners across the country. The winning works will remain on display in the Capitol for a year, and be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website.

“As we work to determine a winner for this year’s competition, we remain extremely impressed by the depth and breadth of artistic expression demonstrated by these remarkable students,” added Ocasio-Cortez. 

The Congresswoman also allocated over $1 million in federal funding to the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens this year to construct a five-story building to increase the number of youth and families the organization serves each year. The organization hosts after-school programs, summer camp, mentoring programs and weekend workshops. 

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