Local students showcase artwork in congressional art competition

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IDAHO FALLS – Student artists from all over the region are competing for a chance to display their art in our nation’s capitol.

The 15th annual Congressional Art Competition gives high school students an opportunity to showcase the hidden gems of Idaho.

“We’ve opened it up to paintings and drawings. We’ve even received still photography submissions, so they have a lot of latitude,” says Brennan Summers, who is overseeing the competition and works with Congressman Mike Simpson’s office.

Simpson’s office has partnered with the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho to display students’ artwork in an exhibit that runs through March 24.

“An important part of being an artist is to exhibit, to showcase your art to those around you and your community. It really validates you as an artist. So this is a great opportunity for a young aspiring artist,” Miyai Griggs, the art museum’s executive director, tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Griggs says organizers are surprised at the caliber of art presented and the number of participants this year. More than 50 students have submitted artwork that depicts something the artist finds particularly special or meaningful about Idaho.

During a reception on March 16, awards will be presented to the top four pieces of artwork selected by Simpson’s office. The winning piece of art will be displayed in Washington, D.C., in the Capitol, along with winners chosen from congressional districts all over the country.

“It’s just a great opportunity for people to engage in positive discourse and to come together as a community to celebrate talent,” Summers says.

The Young at Art exhibit is happening in conjunction with the Congressional Art Competition. It features artwork from elementary and middle school students.

Both exhibits are free.

The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is open late on Thursdays until 8 p.m.

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