“Self Portrait”: This self-portrait has a dark background and a strong light source coming from the side.

Today, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) announced that Philip Smith, a junior homeschooled out of Klamath Falls, has been selected as the overall winner for Oregon’s Second Congressional District in the 2020 Congressional Art Competition. Philip’s painting, Self Portrait, was selected by a panel of five judges. Philip will travel to Washington, D.C. to see his artwork displayed in the national student art exhibit in the U.S. Capitol and attend a reception in his honor.

“I want to congratulate Philip on this achievement,” said Walden. “His impressive oil painting will be showcased in the U.S. Capitol among the best student artwork in the nation. Members of Congress will see it as they walk to the House and Senate Chambers and visitors from around the world will enjoy the art during Capitol tours. Self Portrait demonstrates Philip’s talent and he should be very proud of this accomplishment.”

Judges praised the composition and quality of Philip’s piece and commended his evocative use of oil paint to create a mood, which they said is a difficult medium.

Walden also announced three regional winners from Oregon’s Second District:

  • Abel by Idaly Ferral, McLoughlin High School, grade 12
  • Oregon Coast by Philip Smith, Homeschooled, grade 11
  • A Burning Victory by Emmalynn Erard, Summit High School, grade 11

Regional winners will have their art displayed in Walden’s offices in Medford, Bend, and La Grande, and posted on his website at https://walden.house.gov/art-competition.

“The Congressional Art Competition is a tremendous opportunity for young Oregonians interested in art and I want to thank all of the students, teachers, and families who made this year’s competition a success,” Walden said. “I would also like to thank our judges for their expertise in reviewing the more than 16 pieces of art submitted by students from 4 high schools around Oregon’s Second District.”

Here are the judges for 2020 competition:

  • Kim Hearon, Executive Director, Rogue Gallery & Art Center, Medford
  • Cody Bustamante, Professor of Painting and Drawing, South Oregon University, Ashland
  • Michael Sell, Associate Professor of Art, Eastern Oregon University, La Grande
  • Lori Sams, Gallery Director, Feves Art Gallery, Pendleton
  • Ted Fink, Chair, Fine and Performing Arts, Treasure Valley Community College, Ontario

The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide program for students to showcase their artistic abilities and to highlight the importance of art education. Since its start in 1982, more than 700,000 high school students from around the country have participated. Photos of the winners and more information on the competition can be found via Walden’s website at https://walden.house.gov/art-competition.


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