LEWISTON, Maine — Jeremy Vroom of Bangor and Whitney Wei of Famingdale are the Maine winners of the 2011 Congressional Arts Competition. Vroom will represent the 2nd Congressional District, and Wei the 1st Congressional District.
The annual Congressional Art Competition features one piece of student artwork from every participating Congressional District in the country. Maine’s winners, chosen by jurors selected by the Maine Arts Commission, will have their work displayed in the halls of the U.S. Capitol for a year, according to a press release from U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree.
Both winning students, along with their families, will be flown to Washington, courtesy of competition sponsors, to participate in an opening ceremony in June.
“The arts tell our story as a people, and they play an important role in maintaining and strengthening our way of life,” said Michaud. “Numerous studies link exposure to the arts to increases in academic performance. Jeremy’s photography certainly demonstrates a devotion to excellence that will brighten the hallways of the Capitol for the many thousands of visitors that stop to admire this incredible collection of inspirational work throughout the year.”
The Congressional Art 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, more than 700,000 high school students have competed.
“This competition always draws strong pieces of art from Maine students, and this year was no exception,” said Pingree. “Congratulations to Whitney, whose work captures an iconic image of Maine life. I certainly share her love for our state’s main streets, weathered and full of history, but enduring and vibrant still. I’m very proud her work will represent Maine at the Capitol. Thanks to the Maine Arts Commission for all their help in organizing this year’s competition.”
Before the students travel to Washington for the opening reception, they will be honored in Maine. Vroom from Bangor High School and Wei from Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale have been invited, along with runners-up, art teachers and families, to attend a reception on May 7 at the Blaine House.
Runners-up in the 1st District are Elizabeth Cox from Camden Hills Regional High School, Eve Hupper from Rockland District High School and Emily Howell from Morse High School in Bath.
Runners-up from the 2nd District are Cali Inman from Explorations Art Program at Bryant Pond, Matthew McKeown from Oak Hill High School in Wales, and Sylvia Beliveau from Lewiston High School.