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The Fil-Am Connection

Fil-Am student’s art to grace US Capitol

The nationwide 'An Artistic Discovery' series is organized by the House of Representatives
/ 06:30 AM June 12, 2024

Fil-Am student art

Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng congratulates art contest winner Amber Sevilla alongside her winning artwork, with Amber’s proud father, A. Redd Sevilla, also in the photo. CONTRIBUTED

Elton Lugay column IDNEW YORK CITY—Amber Sevilla, a Filipino American 11th grader, has won this year’s annual congressional art contest organized by US Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens).

“It’s such an honor to be chosen as the winner of Congresswoman Meng’s congressional art competition,” said Sevilla, who lives with her family in Elmhurst, Queens, in a press statement.

“I was absolutely thrilled when I found out that I won, and I’m so excited to soon see my work hanging in the United States Capitol.”

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The contest, part of the nationwide “An Artistic Discovery” series organized by the House of Representatives, featured entries from high school students across Queens.

Sevilla’s winning piece, “2:25 PM,” is an acrylic painting based on a photo she took in April 2023. The artwork captures a serene moment with her father, celebrating the beauty in everyday family interactions.

Sevilla, who recently celebrated her 17th birthday, is a student at the High School of Art and Design. She aspires to pursue further studies in art, aiming for a career as an art educator or curator. Her winning artwork will be displayed for one year in the halls of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, alongside other district winners from across the country. She will also attend a special ceremony on Capitol Hill later this month to honor her achievement.

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Rep. Meng announced the winner during a reception that showcased all the submitted artworks and honored the participating students with certificates of congressional recognition.

“I thank Amber Sevilla for entering my art contest and I’m thrilled to congratulate her for winning this year’s competition,” said Rep. Meng of the 6th district in Queens in a statement.

“The artistic talent shown by the young artists who took part in the contest is outstanding, and every year I continue to be impressed and inspired by the amazing creativity that goes into all of the artwork. I commend each and every student who participated, and I’m excited that Amber’s winning piece will be recognized and displayed in the Capitol for lawmakers, visitors and maybe even the President to see.”

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Sevilla also took the opportunity to thank Isabella Bustamante, director of Teen Art Salon, and her art teachers James Harrington, Ashton Agbomenou, and Laura Blau for their support and guidance. She expressed a deep connection to her Queens roots and a desire to give back to her community through her future career in the arts.

The Artistic Discovery contest has been a platform for high school students to showcase their artistic talents since its inception in 1982. Hosted annually by members of Congress, the competition has seen participation from hundreds of thousands of students nationwide.

In March of this year, Representative Meng, a distinguished member of the House Appropriations Committee, secured more than $13 million in federal funding for multiple projects in Queens through the Community Project Funding initiative in a recent government spending bill. This allocation was incorporated into the legislation approved by both the House and Senate, ultimately being signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Among the 15 organizations selected to receive funding, NaFFAA-NY secured the largest amount, over $1.6 million, for a new community center in Woodside.

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TAGS: Fil-Am, Filipino American artists
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