From sculptures to oil to colored pencil and photography, over 450 pieces of art were displayed at the 2023 Chester County High School Art Festival and 6th Congressional District Art Competition. The exhibition kicked off on Thursday, April 13, 2023, at the Chester County Art Association, and ran through Saturday, April 22, 2023.
Students who participated in the High School Art Festival and live in the 6th District of Pennsylvania also had the opportunity to submit their artwork to Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan's Congressional Art Competition. Each spring, across the nation, members of the U.S. House of Representatives sponsor a high school art competition, with the grand prize winner having his or her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
A free reception and awards ceremony took place during the weeklong exhibition, in which the Congressional Art Competition and Chester County Art Association awards were presented.
When asked how it feels to win first place and having her artwork displayed in the Capitol building for an entire year, Isabella Woo, a sophomore from Phoenixville Area High School said, “I’m overwhelmed. I was not expecting this at all, but it feels great.”
“I really enjoy snakes and the texture of their skin, so when we were assigned an animal portrait, I knew exactly what the subject would be,” said Woo.
Avery Stackhouse from Phoenixville Area High School placed second in the Congressional Art Show; Aryn Weil from Conestoga High School placed third and Morgan Herb from Exeter High School received an honorable mention. Stackhouse and Weil’s artwork will be displayed in Congresswoman Houlahan’s district offices located in Reading, PA and Washington, D.C.
In addition to the Congressional pieces, Emma Bryan, a senior from West Chester Area School District's Bayard Rustin High School, also received a first-place prize in the Chester County High School Exhibition for her still life painting named Untitled.
“I am absolutely shocked. I was not expecting to win at all,” said Bryan. “As a senior, a lot is going on. I’m growing up, finishing my high school career and preparing for adulthood. I tried to express my fear for the future but also excitement in my portrait.”
This year’s event included two galleries dedicated to the display of high school artwork. The exhibition provided an outstanding variety of mediums that students were proud to display.
The Chester County High School Art Festival is coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit and sponsored in part by CCRES Educational and Behavioral Health Services. To see a full list of the art show winners, visit www.cciu.org/Art-Show.