Mike Turner Congressional Art Competitioni
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Congressional Arts Competition a Success
By Congressman Michael Turner

Three hundred seventy-three talented young artists across the Third District of Ohio recently submitted artwork to the 2008 Congressional Arts Competition. Our community’s annual Congressional Arts Competition is open to high school students residing in the Third District (grades 9-12). The annual competition was created in 1982 by Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill as a way to showcase artistic talent and to encourage participation in the arts.

According to a report produced for the Department of Education, students who participate in the arts are more likely to connect their learning experience to the real world. The arts are also more likely to reach students who are not otherwise being reached by more standard curriculum. These skills, and activities that support them, are very important.

This year a wide variety of student artwork was submitted from 20 high schools across Ohio’s Third District. The participating high schools this year included: Belmont, Blanchester, Chaminade-Julienne, Clinton-Massie, Fairfield, Kettering-Fairmont, Meadowdale, Miami Valley, Miamisburg, Northmont, Oakwood, Springboro, Stebbins, Stivers School for the Arts, Thurgood Marshall, Trotwood, Valley View, Waynesville, West Carrollton, and Wilmington High Schools.

The 373 pieces of artwork submitted this year were the most since my office began hosting the Congressional Arts Competition. The artwork was on display for a week in the Dayton Art Institute, giving the public an opportunity to walk through the museum and view all the entries in this year’s competition. A panel of experts from the art departments of area colleges, local non-profit organizations, and the Dayton Art Institute selected this year’s winning entries.

On Sunday, May 4, 2008, participants in this year’s Congressional Art Competition, their families, teachers, and the public were invited to a reception at the Dayton Art Institute’s Gothic Cloister. During the reception, the winners were presented with awards including scholarships, student memberships to the Dayton Art Institute, and a gift certificate from Kettering Rosewood Arts Center. All participants were given certificates commemorating their participation.

For the past several years, WHIO-7 has been a partner in the Arts Competition. The first, second, and third place winners joined me for a special edition of WHIO–TV’s, “WHIO Reports” on Sunday morning, May 4th. The winners had the opportunity to tell how they created their projects for a television audience.

First place was awarded to Kelsey Danner, a senior from Stivers School for the Arts. Kelsey will accept a $2,000 scholarship from the University of Dayton. In addition, Kelsey has won a trip to Washington, D.C. She will attend a special celebration at the U.S. Capitol, where her artwork will be unveiled along with the winners from other congressional districts nationwide. The winning entry from every participating district will be on display in the Capitol for one year.

Second place went to John Berry, a senior at Stivers School for the Arts. Third place went to Georgia Stathopoulos, a senior from Oakwood High School. John’s entry is a charcoal drawing and Georgia’s submission is an ink and watercolor painting. John and Georgia will have their choice of several college scholarships.

The six honorable mention winners were:

- Ben Quinn, Oakwood High School
-Lauren Shine, Oakwood High School
-Jennifer Lake, Springboro High School
-Abdelkrim Berri, Stivers School for the Arts
-Odessie Ferryman, Stivers School for the Arts
-Jesse Hites, Stivers School for the Arts

The annual Congressional Arts Competition is a great opportunity to support youth participation in the arts. The qualities of originality, expressiveness, and original thought that success in the arts requires will serve them well as they go forward. I would like to extend a special thanks to the Dayton Art Institute and their volunteers, Time-Warner Cable, the Kettering Rosewood Arts Center and WHIO-TV. I would also like to thank all those who entered the Congressional Arts Competition. Support for this program brings opportunities for intellectual growth to students interested in the arts and in all other walks of life. I look forward to next year’s Congressional Arts Competition.

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