(ROCKVILLE, MD) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) announced the winners of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for high school students at a reception yesterday held at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland. Raskin honored more than 90 students who participated in this year’s competition with congressional certificates of recognition at the event. Raskin also announced this year’s winner, Michelle Zhu, who will have her painting, “Cityscape in Rain,” displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year.

Six runners-up will also have their artwork displayed in Raskin’s Capitol Hill and Rockville offices: Makayla Davis (“Untitled”), Marie-Yolande Fanouvi (“Self Portrait”), Sarah Fenster (“Overcast Dreams”), Kayla Gillis (“Self Portrait”), Zelda Littlejohn (“The Move”), and Angelique Nagovskaya (“Little Sister”).

“It is an honor to represent Maryland’s 8th District, which is home to great art and so many talented student artists,” said Raskin. “We have been blown away by the breadth and depth of the student submissions we received this year. I commend all of the student artists who submitted their work and and all the family members, educators, friends, and community members who supported these enormously talented students.”

Student artwork was submitted from the following schools: Albert Einstein High School; Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School; Brookewood School; Catoctin High School; Century High School; Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School; Holton-Arms School; Landon School; Linganore High School; National Cathedral High School; Northwood High School; Richard Montgomery High School; Rockville High School; The Siena School; Thomas S. Wootton High School; Walt Whitman High School; Westminster High School. Home-schooled students also submitted artwork.

In his remarks at yesterday’s reception, Raskin also spoke about the need to protect students’ First Amendment rights in the Congressional Art Competition. In recent months, a Missouri student’s painting has been subject to vigilante censorship by Members of Congress and then official censorship by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who called the painting “disgusting” and ultimately had it removed from display. Raskin has been an outspoken critic of this censorship, calling on the Speaker of the House and Architect of the Capitol to reject this unprecedented act of viewpoint discrimination in the Congressional Art Competition. The Missouri student artist has brought a lawsuit asserting that First Amendment rights had been violated. The litigation is ongoing. In saluting the Maryland student artists participating in the competition, Raskin said, “America needs your voice and your vision now more than ever. You will not be censored in Congress if I have anything to say about it.”

Pictures from Sunday's event are available here.


Congressman Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Montgomery, Frederick, and Carroll counties. He is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, a Senior Democratic Whip, and Freshman Representative to the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. He also serves on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Committee on House Administration.