May 27, 2021

Congressman Joe Neguse Announces 2021 Congressional Art Competition Winners

The 1st place winner’s piece “Hannah” is part of a series the artist is completing to show the use of paper

Lafayette, CO— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse announced the winners from Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in the 2021 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. 

2021 Congressional Art Competition Winners:

  • 1st place: Hannah by Margaux Helson, Boulder High 
  • 2nd place: Mom’s Aspen by Megan Hess, Nederland Middle Senior High 
  • 3rd place: Gus the Dog by Ashley Campbell, Mountain View High School in Loveland
  • 4th place: There Are So Many Holes in My Facade by Grace Fuller, Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette
  • 5th place: Flashy Lie: Vile Truth by Madison Moyer, Middle Park High School in Granby

View the artwork here.

“It has been a particularly rough year for students across the country, and yet they were still able to create beauty through these incredible pieces of art,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “In moments of crisis, we often look to the arts to bring us inspiration and hope for the future. 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 2021 Congressional Art Competition virtually. I am incredibly proud to announce this year’s winning artwork and look forward to passing Margaux’s “Hannah” in the Cannon Tunnel when I am back in Washington.”

Margaux chose to use a candid reference photo where the subject is not looking at the camera, because, as she says, when someone is unaware that they are being studied, they don't mask any of their internal characteristics. One of the artist’s goals in creating this portrait was to capture more than just what the subject looks like; she wanted to express her friend Hannah's shy, contemplative nature.

“A sheet of paper is both physically and figuratively malleable,” said Margaux, the competition’s winner. “It can be folded, crumpled, and otherwise tangibly manipulated, but in the right hands it can be transformed into anything. In my hands, with the help of a BiC mechanical pencil and some charcoal, it can be transformed into the faces of the people I love.”

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.