At a reception for the top 20 student submissions, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced the winners of the Congressional Art Contest from the Ninth District.  Cedric McArthur of Tacoma School of the Arts was awarded first place for his untitled chalk pastel on paper, second place went to Laura Adams also of Tacoma School of the Arts for her untitled photo, and Bethel High School’s Ryan Davidson received third place for his “Just Another Day in Cloudy Paradise” tempera and pastel.

“It is always wonderful to see the art and creativity of the students of the Ninth District.  The Congressional Art Contest allows us to show off their talents to the rest of the county and to encourage them to strive for even greater heights with their art,” Congressman Adam Smith said.

Every year for the last 21 years, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have held art competitions in their Congressional districts.  Members bring the winning piece from their district back to Washington, D.C. to be displayed in a corridor of the U.S. Capitol. 

This year, Congressman Smith convened a judging panel consisting of Bonnie Gallagher, President of the Hilltop Artist Association, Mayumi Tsutakawa, Wallace Arts Initiative Manager for the Washington State Arts Commission and Ann Darling, Community Arts Activist. 

In addition to having his submission displayed at the U.S. Capitol, first place winner Cedric McArthur will be flown to Washington, D.C. compliments of Southwest Airlines to participate in the opening of the 2003 Congressional exhibition.  In the past, representatives of the arts community participating in the opening celebration have included Tom Cruise, Dean Cain, Billy Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker.  Cedric will also receive a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a year’s membership to both the Seattle and Tacoma Art Museums.  His art teacher at the Tacoma School of the Arts will receive free admission to the Tacoma Art Museum. 

Second place winner Laura Adams and third place winner Ryan Davidson will have their pieces exhibited in Congressman Smith’s district office for one year after the event, where visitors from throughout the Ninth District will be able to view the art.  Both artists will also receive a year’s membership to the Seattle Art Museum.