On May 11, U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced student winners of the annual Congressional Art Competition.
Janica Hannah Soro, Pacific Grove High School, won first place winner for her digital artwork titled, “Welcome to the Neighborhood.” Her artwork will be placed on display in the U.S. Capitol alongside other winners.
Two local students received recognition:
- Caitlin Bayaca, Aptos High School, was named Best in Show for Painting for her oil pastel, “Clockwork.”
- Mary Henderson, Soquel High School, was named Best in Show for Photography for “Yaren”
Students entered from California’s 19th Congressional District, which includes San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties. Of these submissions, Panetta recognized nine outstanding pieces during a reception in Capitola on May 7.
“Through the arts we gain a better understanding of ourselves, each other, and our community, which is why promoting youth arts is critical to a well-rounded education,” said Panetta. “I’m proud to recognize the hard work, creativity, and passion of these immensely talented students. I’m looking forward to admiring Janica’s piece in the United States Capitol as a marker of our community, who we are, and what we stand for in California’s 19th Congressional District.”
The Congressional Art Competition is an annual tradition that began in 1982.
- First Place: Janica Hannah Soro, Pacific Grove High School, “Welcome to the Neighborhood”
- Second Place: Dening Sun, Notre Dame High School, “Struggle for a Home Long Lost”
- Third Place: Diep Van Pham Nguyen, Independence High School, “Visions of Iridescent Flames”
- Best in Show for Digital Artwork: An Vu, Independence High School, “A Mother’s Touch”
- Best in Show for Pencil Drawing: Emily Chang, Valley Christian High School, “Grimes”
- Honorable Mention for Composition: Vivian Ming, Pacific Grove High School, “Friendly Faces”
- Honorable Mention for Technical Skill: Selina Ge, Leland High School, “Intergenerational Trauma”
Top Photo: Welcome to the Neighborhood • Janica Hannah Soro, Pacific Grove High School