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Buchanan Announces Congressional Art Competition Winners

from Congressman Vern Buchanan’s Office

SARASOTA, FLA, May 12, 2021 — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan announced today the winners of the 2021 High School Congressional Art Competition, a district-wide showcase for young artists.  The first-place winner of the annual competition for the 16th Congressional District is Silia Matelau of Bradenton Christian School.   Jade Ortwein of Sarasota High School is this year’s Facebook Fan winner. 

“I’m beyond impressed by the exceptional talent of every high schooler who submitted artwork for this year’s competition,” said Buchanan. “It’s abundantly clear that students from the 16th Congressional District have an endless amount of creativity and skill.” 

The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide high school visual art competition.  Silia’s winning art, “Math Class” will be placed on display for one year in the highly traveled corridor between the U.S. Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building.  The Bradenton Christian School student will receive roundtrip airfare to Washington D.C. to attend the Congressional Reception in June where she will be joined by her fellow winners from districts around the country. 

For the fifth year, the 16th Congressional District’s contest included a separate recognition – the “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award – awarded to the student whose artwork won the highest number of likes and shares combined on the Congressman’s Facebook page. Ortwein’s entry “Docked at Cortez” which received the most combined will be displayed in the congressman’s Washington, D.C. office.

This year, 27 students from eight high schools submitted 31 entries judged by the following at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art: Sarah Cartwright, Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections; Jennifer Lemmer Posey, Howard Tibbals Curator of Circus; and Laura Steefel-Moore, Head of Educational Programs.

The full list of winners from Florida’s 16th District include: 

  • First Place– Silia Matelau, “Math Class,” Bradenton Christian in Bradenton.
  • Second Place –Lydia Graue, “Clones at Night,” Sarasota High School in Sarasota
  • Third Place – Christina Mroczkowski, “A Part of My Identity,” Cardinal Mooney High School in Sarasota
  • Honorable Mention Amari Grant, “Behind Your Eyes,” Lennard High School
  • Honorable Mention Elizabeth Lee, “Raised Iguana,” Bradenton Christian
  • Honorable Mention Ben Nolt, “Bigger Twelve”, Classical Academy
  • The “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award – Jade Ortwein, “Docked at Cortez,” Sarasota High School

The artwork not going to Washington, D.C., will remain on display in the Johnson-Blalock Education Center at the Ringling Museum.