On Friday, May 6, the award ceremony for the annual Congressional Art Competition for High School Students in the New York District 1, sponsored by congressman Lee Zelden, was held at Artspace on Terry Street in Patchogue.
Coordinating the event on behalf of the congressman for the eighth year in a row was Patchogue arts scene mogul Tracy Todd Hunter.
“It has truly been an honor to serve in this capacity and bring judges from diverse backgrounds—both social and art—to critique, evaluate, and honor our student artists from the area,” said Hunter.
There were 11 judges selected this year to evaluate 44 pieces submitted by local high school students, with one judge all the way from Las Vegas.
As the judging and viewing was conducted remotely, judges were able to participate without having to be present at the gallery.
As the head of the established and authoritative arts society, Of Colors Creative Collective, Hunter was able to incorporate a wide reach of judges from his sizeable network.
The participating judges were also each awarded a congressional certificate honoring them for their role in the competition.
The first-place winner won an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., by Southwest airlines; a $3,000 scholarship to one of three prestigious art schools in the country; and will have their artwork exhibited in the Capitol building rotunda.
The runners-up will have their artwork exhibited at the local congressional office in Patchogue.
Entries were allowed in the following media: photography, digital art, painting, abstract, and mixed media.
For his intricate and intensive role as curator, Hunter was presented with a lush bouquet to thank him for his hard work.
Councilman Neil Foley (R-District 5) said, “It’s my honor to support the arts,” and went on to thank Zeldin for his devotion to creativity.
Legis. Dominick Thorne (R-District 8), also in attendance for the awards ceremony, expressed his appreciation and love of the arts.
The first-place winner was “By The Seaside,” an oil and pastel drawing that was a macro view of sea-themed trinkets.
Artist Shelby Spillet, of Longwood High School, captured the true spirit of the South Shore with her homage to all the collectible treasures of the bay.
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