The Maine Arts Commission recently announced that JoJo Zeitlin, a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School in District 1, and Michaela Shorey, a senior at Rangeley Lakes Regional School in District 2, have won Maine’s 2016 Congressional Art Competition, according to a news release from the commission.

“We are so lucky to have this kind of talent in our student population here in Maine. It reinforces the strength and quality of our art programs across the state. Congratulations to our winners and our finalists,” Julie Richard, Maine Arts Commission executive director, said in the release.

Zeitlin won with her black-and-white photograph portrait “Brian.” Competition jurors said they appreciated her skill in capturing the personality of an individual, which they believe is a unique talent for an artist of her age, according to the release. They commented on the quality of her pieces as shown through her technical ability to use depth of field and dark contrasts to enhance the subject matter.

Shorey’s top piece “An Older-Young Girl” was also a portrait made from various media including pastels and cut paper. Jurors for this district stated that they felt she was skilled in using the media to convey a sense of the person. They continued by commenting on the strong sense of composition and how all the elements work together to further convey the title, according to the release.

The judges also recognized the work of the following five students from each district.

District 1: First runner-up Anna Callahan, of Brunswick; second runner-up Abigail Stevens-Roberts, of Saco; and honorable mentions Katie Sprague, of Manchester, Gabriel Rosen, of Portland, and Caitlyn Duffy, of Gorham.

District 2: First runner-up Rachel Flannery, of Auburn; second runner-up Chandler Clothier, of Lewiston; and honorable mentions Olivia Berger, of South Paris, Alanna Fellows, of Lewiston, and Shin Hye Hwang, of Hebron.

The annual competition features one piece of student artwork from every participating Congressional District in the country. Maine’s winners, chosen by jurors selected by the commission, will have their work displayed in the halls of the U.S. Capitol for a year.

The first-place winners will travel to Washington, courtesy of private sponsors, to participate in an opening ceremony in June. Winners and runners-up will be honored at a Blaine House reception in May.

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