Centennial High School on April 26 hosted the 2019 Congressional Art Competition for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. The reception and art show, held in the school’s gymnasium, was attended by student competitors, local dignitaries, Las Cruces Public Schools personnel and members of the community.

In March, U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M., invited high school students residing in her district to submit their original entries for the annual competition. Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Students submitted entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists selected the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.

A total of 43 students from the 2nd Congressional District submitted artwork for this year’s competition. The April 26 reception featured all of the paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photography and computer-generated art submitted by students.

“It’s such an honor to be able to host this year’s Congressional Art Competition, and to join Rep. Torres Small in celebrating New Mexico’s young artists,” said Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Greg Ewing. “Art education plays a vital role in encouraging self-expression, embracing diversity and fostering well-rounded students.”

The winners of the 2019 Congressional Art Competition are:

  • First Place: Andrea Burciaga, “Wrapped In Culture”, Gadsden High School
  • Second Place: Alvaro Oliva, “Space Voyage”, Gadsden High School

Honorable Mentions:

  • LaShea Alvarez, “Major,” Lordsburg High School
  • Genesis De Luna, “Jar of Joy,” Lordsburg High School
  • Madison Miller, “Champion the Wonder Horse,” [no school listed]
  • Trinity Paz Candelas, “Blowing Bubbles,” Gadsden High School
  • Sharik De La Garza, “Wistful,” Gadsden High School
  • Devin Hernandez, “Liquid,” Gadsden High School
  • Elizabeth Lerna, “Absent Minded,” Gadsden High School
  • James Camacho, “Dragon Fly,” Gadsden High School

The Centennial High School Culinary Arts Program prepared and served hors d’oeuvres and beverages for the event, and music was provided by the Centennial Orchestra.

The competition was judged by a panel of three Las Cruces artists: Meg Freyermuth, Norma Hartell and Bob Diven.

— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811, dwillis@lcps.net