Congresswoman Waters host 43rd District Art Competition


By Francis Taylor, Executive Editor

The 43rd District Congressional Art Competition is an event, conducted in almost every Congressional District where each member holds an annual competition soliciting artwork from the high schools in their district. Congresswoman Maxine Waters reached out to 21 high schools in the 43rd District and 13 responded this year. The schools that responded this year were Alliance Judy Ivy Burton Technology High, California Academy of Math and Science, City Honors International Preparatory High School-Inglewood, Compton Early College High School, Compton High, Dominguez High, Hawthorne High, Lawndale High, Leuzinger High, Mervyn Dymally High, North Torrance High, Serra High, and Whitman Continuation High.“I was pleased to receive a total of 110 submitted pieces of art.” Congresswoman Waters said. “I take great pride in the Annual Congressional Art Competition, and I applaud the students who participated.”  (Caption) Congresswoman Maxine Waters with the 1st Place winner of her 43rd District Congressional Art Competition, Jourden Webb of Whitman Continuation School.  Also pictured are Art Teacher Misty Cervantes (far left) and Principal Simone Charles (far right)The competition began in 1982 and has gained momentum since that time. Congresswoman Waters believes artistic expression, visual, music or theater is very important and should be encouraged. The art competition is designed to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.“Some students excel at art who don’t necessarily excel in academics or athletics.” Congresswoman Waters noted. “The competition is an important way for them to display their talent and for us to acknowledge their value to society.”This year the 43rd District had 9 judges, all of whom are professionals in a variety of visual arts disciplines. Rosie Lee Hooks, the Director of the Watts Towers Arts Center is the longest serving judge. In addition, the following were also judges this year: Architectural Illustrator, Gregory Cloud, Chair of the Board of the Museum of African American Art, Elizabeth “Betty” Johnson, Fine Artist and Children’s Book Illustrator, Laurie Pincus, Multi-media Illustrator, Sharon Okada, NYU Art Student & former Congressional Art Competition prize winner, Maiya Ralbovsky, Watts Towers Art Center Instructor, Patrick Taylor, Otis College of Art & Design Instructor, Edwin Ushiro, and  PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego, Dr. Melanie West.There are many rewards for the students who participate, and the top four students receive cash prizes courtesy of American Honda Motors, scholarships to Otis College of Art and Design, and an art kit from the Watts Towers Art Center. Congresswoman Waters also presented consolation prizes to all the students who attended the reception which included gift certificates from Blick Art Materials, the Watts Towers Art Center, and Los Angeles County Metro Transit Agency.“According to our judges,” Congresswoman Waters concluded, “the submitted artwork keeps improving every year and I am always proud to display it and welcome the students and their parents to a “professional exhibition” at Otis College of Art & Design. It is such a joy to hang the winning work in my offices and the U.S. Capitol.” For more information about the Congressional Arts Competition online, visit:


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