An Artistic Discovery: Students’ Work Selected for Congressional Competition

Artworks by three Mount Madonna School (MMS) eighth grade students — Lucas Caudill, Phoebe Grant and Ruby Bracher — were selected for inclusion in ‘An Artistic Discovery,’ the 2014 Congressional Competition to be held in Moss Landing next week and organized by District 20 Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel). 
“Every spring, the United States House of Representatives sponsors the Congressional Art Competition for high school students across our nation. The annual competition provides an opportunity for students across the country to exhibit their artwork and receive national recognition. The competition also symbolizes the important role that the arts play in American society,’ said Congressman Farr in a statement on his District website. ‘The first place winning entry from each congressional district is displayed in the corridor tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building for one year, where it is seen by thousands of people.’

Judging will take place at a public reception on May 15 at 5:00pm at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Moss Landing.
‘It’s a source of pride to have our students’ work on display in this art discovery competition,’ commented MMS middle school art teacher and local Santa Cruz artist Sandy Shaw. ‘MMS has talented students with amazing passion for creating art. I want to support them in having their work out there publicly and getting them the recognition and praise that is so well deserved.’ 
 ‘I want to challenge Central Coast students to join youth across the country in opening their creative minds and discovering their artistic talents,’ said Congressman Farr. ‘I am proud to play a role in this important competition and I strongly believe that art allows students to think outside the box to solve problems and fosters creativity. The arts are an integral part of our nation’s cultural fabric.’ 
The Congressional Art Competition is open to all local high school students in the 20th Congressional District (as well as 7th and 8th graders from schools with both middle and high programs). 
The Artistic Discovery competition encourages and recognizes the rich artistic talents of young Americans. Students are allowed to submit various styles and types of art, ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and mixed media pieces. The winners are determined using criteria based on originality, skill of execution, excellence in use of materials and conceptual strength of the project. 
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, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.
All of MMS’ middle school students studied art with Shaw this year, with a curriculum rich in fine art subject matter and techniques. In addition to exploring an array of mediums, Shaw encourages each student to grow individually through their own personal art pieces. 
‘It’s a pleasure teaching art,’ said Shaw. ‘I’m happy to give students a place where they can freely express their creativity, while supporting their individual growth and technique. There are a lot of students interested in pursuing careers in fine art — whether architecture, graphic design, painting, or something else — and it all begins with getting their art out there and having it seen.’
Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Media & Communications,
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.