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Congressman Jim Costa

Representing the 16th District of California

Costa and Merced County Arts Council Honor Merced Student Entrants in Congressional Art Competition

May 2, 2018
Press Release

Merced, CA – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) and the Merced County Arts Council honored Merced high school students who participated in the 2018 Congressional Art Competition Wednesday evening with an awards ceremony at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center.

More than 50 pieces of art were submitted to the district-wide competition, with high school students from across Merced County submitting 28 pieces total. The Merced students’ work was judged by local artists and members of the Merced Arts Council, which has partnered with Rep. Costa for the annual art competition for years.

The Merced Arts Council works to inspire and support the arts and artists in Merced County in part through programs at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, which include arts education and training, world-class performances, and art exhibits showcasing works of local, regional, and national importance. “The Congressional Art Competition is a great way to recognize our young artists in Merced County. We have an abundance of young talent here, and it's important to acknowledge and encourage these young artists to continue expressing themselves through their art,” shared Colton Dennis, Executive Director of the Merced County Arts Council and Multicultural Arts Center.

Costa announced Lylah Carranza as this year's second place winner during tonight's Merced awards ceremony. Lylah attends Los Banos High School, and her winning colored pencil piece is entitled “Hidden.”

Congressman Costa honored all student entrants individually during this evening’s awards ceremony, noting the importance of engagement with the arts for both personal and community development. “Creativity, innovation, and original thinking are key for good art, but also for strong character and strong communities,” said Costa. “The Congressional Art Competition encourages our young people to exercise their artistic talent and to strengthen their creative mind, which we see in the remarkable and thought-provoking art our students produce. I am proud of our students and honored to host this competition each year.

This year’s first and third place winners will be officially announced at the awards ceremony honoring Fresno and Madera County student participants held at the Fresno Arts Council on Friday.

The annual Congressional Art Competition – which Rep. Costa hosts in his district every year – honors thousands of high school students across the United States for their creativity, ingenuity, and artistic talent. First place winners from each congressional district will have their pieces sent to Washington, D.C. in June, where they will hang on display to be viewed by the millions who visit the Capitol each year. Winners are also invited to the Capitol to attend the opening of the display exhibiting the 2018 winners’ works and the congressional reception celebrating the student winners.

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