This weekend, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) hosted the annual 28th District Congressional Art Competition Forum and Exhibit at Van De Kamp Hall in Descanso Gardens. During the exhibit, attended by more than 200 students, teachers and parents, Schiff announced that Joshua Dominic Macapagal’s piece “The other side of cool” had won first place and will be included in the nationwide Congressional Arts Competition: An Artistic Discovery in Washington, D.C. His artwork will hang in the United States Capitol for one year, along with that of other winners from around the nation. Macapagal is from Burbank and attends Burbank High School.
Additionally, Schiff announced that Nick Ottaviano, a student from Los Feliz attending Flintridge Preparatory School, and Vardui Grigoryan, a student from Glendale attending Clark Magnet High School, had won second and third place, respectively. Schiff also awarded the “People’s Choice” award to Nelli Astvatsatrian, a student from Glendale attending Clark Magnet High School. Almost 3,000 constituents voted in the online contest this year.
“Every year, I get the opportunity to see some absolutely amazing artwork submitted by high school students from across our community,” said Schiff. “All of the students involved deserve recognition for their hard work and exceptional talent, and I hope that they will all continue to enrich us with their artwork. I particularly want to congratulate Joshua, Nick, Vardui and Nelli on being named the winners, and look forward to enjoying their artwork in the Capitol and my offices throughout the coming year. Great job to everyone!”
Mr. Macapagal’s artwork was awarded first prize by a panel of local judges for his oil painting entitled “The other side of cool.” He attends Burbank High School in the 11th grade and is from Burbank. His work will hang in the Capitol for the next year. Second place was awarded to Nick Ottaviano, who attends Flintridge Preparatory School in the 12th grade and is from Los Feliz, for his photograph titled “Exposure.” Mr. Ottaviano’s artwork will hang in Congressman Schiff’s Washington, D.C. office for one year. Third place was awarded to Vardui Grigoryan, who attends Clark Magnet High School in the 10th grade and is from Glendale, for her digital painting titled “Untitled.” Her artwork will hang in Schiff’s Burbank office. Schiff also awarded the “People’s Choice” award to Nelli Astvatsatrian, who attends Clark Magnet High School in the 10th grade and is from Glendale, for her graphite pencil sketch on wood titled “A Silent Shout.” All pieces of artwork can be found here.
The judges serving on the panel to award the different prizes included Nyla Arslanian, Monica Elayne Hicks-Jenkins and Kellye Nakahara Wallett:
- Nyla Arslanian is one of Hollywood’s strongest advocates for the arts. President of the Hollywood Arts Council since 1984, Nyla created many of the Council’s programs including the Children’s Festival of the Arts and its Project S.O.A.R., after school art workshops conducted in six of Hollywood’s Title 1 elementary schools. Through her leadership, the Council has brought the arts to over 15,000 elementary school children and nearly 70,000 at its annual Children’s Festival.
- Monica Elayne Hicks-Jenkins is the Communications Associate at McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga, California, and is a working artist, arts educator, and radio show host. She currently has work in the country of Kinshasa as a part of the ART in Embassies Program. Monica holds a B.A. in Studio Arts from the University of California, Irvine and a M.F.A. in Visual Art from the California Institute of the Arts.
- Kellye Nakahara Wallett, watercolor artist, is also known for her role as “Nurse Kellye” in the TV series “M*A*S*H.” Kellye’s collection “The Gardens of Pasadena” features historical landmarks and gardens in Pasadena, and her paintings are on display at Pasadena City Hall. Her painting “Koi” was selected by then-State Senator Jack Scott in 2001 to represent his district in an exhibition at the State Capitol. In 2008, Kellye was invited by Congressman Adam Schiff to paint a Christmas Ornament for the Official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room. Kellye served on Pasadena’s Arts and Culture Commission for 6 years and is currently the Artist in Residence for the Towne Hall Singers.
This year, there were 50 entries representing 19 high schools in the 28th Congressional District. Each student participant received a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congressman Schiff. The Congressional Arts Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have participated in the nationwide competition.