June 03, 2020

Congressman Joe Neguse Announces 2020 Congressional Art Competition Winners

1st place winner’s piece “Diagnosis” depicts the anxiety of her mother’s battle with cancer 

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse announced the winning artwork from Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in the 2020 Congressional Art Competition. Due to COVID-19, this year’s art competition was held virtually, with students submitting their artwork and judges assessing the pieces online. Congressman Neguse, his wife Andrea and a panel of local artists selected the five pieces of original artwork to be displayed in the United States Capitol as well as Neguse’s Washington D.C and district offices. 

2020 Congressional Art Competition Winners:

1st place: Diagnosis by Ollie Pol, Legacy High School (click to view)

2nd place: Delirium by Xan McKenna, Boulder High School (click to view

3rd place: Morning Fisherman by Megan Hess, Nederland Middle School (click to view)

4th place: Caramel Dumplings by Courtney McGrath, Boulder High School (click to view)

5th place: Turning Faces by Hannah Lit, Battle Mountain High School (click to view)

“In moments of crisis, we often look to the arts to bring us inspiration and hope for the future,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “I was thoroughly impressed by the passion and creativity displayed in each of this year’s art competition entries and am grateful to the many students throughout our district who chose to share their creative talents with our community by participating in the 2020 Congressional Art Competition virtually. I am incredibly proud to announce this year’s winning artwork and look forward to passing Ollie’s “Diagnosis” in the Cannon Tunnel when I am back in Washington.”

The first place artwork “Diagnosis” depicts an overlapping list of chemotherapy appointments, and loose hair behind a silhouette, meant to convey the quiet anxiety and fear that manifested around the artist’s mother after being diagnosed with breast cancer. 

“This piece was created shortly after my mom began chemotherapy treatments following her diagnosis with breast cancer,” saidOllie Pol, the first place winner. “This was an extremely hard and anxiety inducing period of time, and I created this work to show that anxiety as well as to portray her as a powerful figure despite the ever present fear. I have never seen her as fragile as she was after her first treatment, and this piece was a way for me to portray her as the powerful woman I’ve always known her to be, even while faced with something that drained her completely.”

The first place winner’s artwork will be hung in the United States Capitol’s Cannon Tunnel with the other district first place winners, the second place artwork will hang in the Colorado School Board of Education’s board room, the third place artwork will be hung in Neguse’s Washington D.C. office, and the fourth and fifth place artwork will be hung in Neguse’s district offices.

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.