Congressman Adam Smith congratulated Arunan Mukphrom today for winning this year’s 9th District Congressional Art Contest.  His piece, a charcoal “Self Portrait” was selected ahead of 26 other entries by a five member panel of art enthusiasts from around the 9th District.  Arunan Mukphrom is from Kent and is a 10th grader at Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn.

 “Arunan is a gifted artist, and I look forward to seeing his art work on display in the Capitol this year. His art work will represent Washington state very well.” said Congressman Smith. “I am also proud and encouraged to see so many young people from around the 9th District interested in the arts. All of the entries were unique in their own way and I hope all of the contestants continue to purse the arts and enrich our local art community.”

The Congressional Art Competition is an annual event that allows each Member of Congress to display one piece of artwork, created by a high school student in their district, in the Capitol for one year.  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. This marks the 13th year Congressman Smith has hosted the art competition.

The winner and runners up were announced at a ceremony held at the Tacoma Art Museum on Saturday. First place honors went to Arunan Mukphrom of Thomas Jefferson High School.  In addition to having his work displayed in the United States Capitol building, Arunan will receive three round trip tickets to Washington, D.C. for the 2009 Congressional Art Competition Reception, a $1,500 renewable scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and several other prizes donated by the local art community.

Second place honors went to Chelsea Greenwood of Mt. Rainier Lutheran High School for her charcoal “Earlier that Day.”   Chelsea Tacoma Art Museum and Tacoma Art Place. Chelsea will receive memberships to the Tacoma Art Museum and Tacoma Art Place.

Kevin Olson of Federal Way High School came in third with his photograph, “Apple and Nails.”   He will receive 4 complimentary passes to Tacoma Art Museum and an annual membership Tacoma Art Place.

Honorable mentions went to Amanda Hainer of Auburn High School, Heather Woodside of Northwest Christian High School, and Chris Wright of Federal Way High School.