Congratulations to Solanco artist, Anika Hodgdon, Class of 2023, whose artwork has been juried into An Artistic Discovery: The 42nd Annual National Congressional Art Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Anika has the distinction of representing Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District in the exhibition with her award-winning pastel painting, Reader’s Quiet Reflection, which will be on view for one year in the Cannon Tunnel of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Cannon Tunnel is the most highly traveled access point between the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Capitol. Every day, members of Congress, distinguished visitors, and tens of thousands of tourists – from the United States and abroad – walk through the tunnel and admire the award-winning artwork from congressional districts across the nation.
Congressman Lloyd Smucker, representative for Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District, hosted an artist’s reception at Garden Spot Art Gallery in New Holland, PA where he congratulated Anika on her outstanding work as the 2023 winner of the Congressional Art Competition. Representative Smucker added: “Anika, I am honored to take your winning work to the halls of Congress for millions of people from all over the world to enjoy.”
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors the U.S. House of Representatives’ official Congressional Art Competition for high school students to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Congressional Art Competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Along with winners from congressional districts across the country, Anika will be honored in a national awards ceremony and opening reception in the Capitol Complex in Washington, D.C. in late June 2023. Anika’s work will also be featured in the online exhibition, An Artistic Discovery: The 42nd Annual National Congressional Art Exhibition on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website.
Congressional Institute President Mark Strand said this about the exhibition: “The Congressional Institute is very proud to sponsor the Congressional Art Competition, which celebrates the enormous talent and cultural contributions of American high school students. What I love most are the more than 400 individual stories of these kids who will come to Washington, DC, to celebrate winning the competition in their districts. Tens of thousands of student artists participate every year, and each Member of Congress can only pick one winner, although some Members find creative ways to celebrate the runner-up artist. The amazing thing is that each of the winning pictures get to hang in the United States Capitol Building for a year. This is an incredible honor as millions of tourists will get to see their work – something that might otherwise never happen for students from every walk of American life. Putting these students first is one way to show there are some things that even the most partisan politician can put above politics and celebrate along with their colleagues in both parties.”
Solanco Visual Arts Department Chair, Candace Rakers, said that “Anika can be extremely proud and honored to have won the 2023 Congressional Art Competition. Anika’s pastel painting, Reader’s Quiet Reflection is an exquisite, contemplative figurative work that expresses the search for truth and meaning through the human spirit. Anika’s work represents a level of sophistication that is exceptionally advanced. Anika is highly motivated, perseverant, and always strives for excellence in her work. Her award-winning work in the 42nd Annual National Congressional Art Exhibition of over 400 winning works from congressional districts across the nation represents the 11th Congressional District of Pennsylvania exceptionally well. The exhibition is also just a few steps from the historical collection of paintings and sculptures in the Capitol Rotunda and National Statuary Hall. With a truly bipartisan focus on celebrating and encouraging the creativity of our nation’s young artists, the exhibition represents the unifying power of the arts to bring people together.”
For more information, please visit: An Artistic Discovery 2020 Virtual Reception: A Welcome From Mark Strand, President of the Congressional Institute