U.S. Rep Gerry Connolly (D-11) with this year’s award recipients and presenters. Back row, from left: Nancy Kyme (obstructed), Clearbrook Center for the Arts; Ava Spece, president and CEO Workhouse Arts Center; Debra Balestreri, Workhouse Arts Center; Jim Gallagher, Prince William Art Society, Laura Readyoff, Arts Herndon; Lisa Mariam, Arts Council of Fairfax County; and Lily Siegel, Greater Reston Arts Center. Front Row: Anna Semizhonova (James Madison HS), Thomas Estrada (Gar-Field HS), Taharah Islam (South County HS), Congressman Connolly, Grace Nicoletti (Charles J. Colgan HS), Amy Des Jardin (Charles J. Colgan HS), and Grace Woo (West Springfield HS).
On Saturday, May 13, at an awards ceremony hosted at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly announced this year’s 11th Congressional District Art Competition winners. First Place was awarded to Taharah Islam, from South County High School, for her entry, “Opulent.” This piece will hang in the U.S. Capitol for one year. In addition, Connolly announced that Amy Des Jardin, who attends Charles J. Colgan High School, was named the 2017 High School Rising Star. Her work, titled “Adolescent Wonder,” will hang in the Lorton Workhouse Art Center for the next year.
“Congratulations to all of this year’s participants for your creativity and talent on full display today,” said Connolly. “This year, we had more than 154 pieces by 134 artists representing 26 different high schools. The range of entries include virtually every artistic medium: oils, pastels, acrylics, photography, computer graphics, pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, and for those who couldn’t pick just one, mixed media.”
“Since the very beginning, the Workhouse Arts Foundation has been a tremendous partner,” said Connolly. “This art competition is an amazing opportunity for our young artists to have their work displayed in a professional art gallery. I thank you for your support in fostering the next generation of artists.”
Additional award recipients include: Grace Nicoletti of Charles J. Colgan High School (3rd Place), Anna Semizhonova of James Madison High School (4th Place), Thomas Estrada of Gar-Field High School (5th Place), and Grace Woo of West Springfield High School (6th Place.)