Congressional art contest winner Sam Kang is congratulated by U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) at the Tacoma Art Museum.  The museum has been gracious enough to host the 9th District Congressional Art Contest for the past 3 years.  Photo credit:  Kate Lynch, Word and Picture Communications Co.Photo: Congressional art contest winner Sam Kang is congratulated by U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) at the Tacoma Art Museum.  The museum has been gracious enough to host the 9th District Congressional Art Contest for the past 3 years.  Photo credit:  Kate Lynch, Word and Picture Communications Co.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today congratulated Sam Kang on winning this year's 9th District Congressional Art Competition. His piece is a pencil drawing entitled “Camel”. Kang is an eleventh grader of the Kennedy International Program at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Burien, Washington.

Each year, members of the U.S. House of Representatives hold art competitions in their congressional districts.  The contests feature paintings, drawings, and prints. Each member brings a winning entry back to Washington, D.C. to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

"Kang is a wonderfully gifted artist, and I hope he’ll make the trip to Washington, D.C. to see his work displayed in the Capitol.  I’m privileged to have been able to host this contest for the students of my district.  The ability of our young artists to have their works showcased by the Tacoma Art Museum at such an early age is a great honor,” Smith said.

"Sam will be a great fine artist.  He has the desire, the skill, the personality and the creativity to amaze people with his art. His handling of graphite pencil in his award-winning ‘Camel’ is very sophisticated. He has developed a very distinct crosshatching style which is truly fascinating," John F. Kennedy High School art instructor Julie Blakemore-Quesnell said.

Kang will be invited to travel to Washington, D.C. to see his artwork hung in the Capitol at the opening exhibition in June.  Three roundtrip airline tickets were donated for the winner and guests to travel to attend the exhibition.  In the past, representatives of the arts community participating in the exhibition included actors Tom Cruise, Dean Cain, Billy Baldwin and actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

Kang will also receive a renewable $5,000 scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design. The second place winner, Shiyu Chen from Annie Wright School and third place winner Stephanie Medeiros of Yelm High School will have the option of having their artistic entries displayed in Smith's Congressional office in Tacoma. The other top competitors also received prizes.  Honorable mentions were given to Marina Merchenko, of Thomas Jefferson High School of Federal Way, Amber Zawislak of Yelm High School, and Laura Wise, of Mt. Rainier Lutheran High School.