ALBANY — Tyler Miller, a Dougherty Comprehensive High School junior, will have an opportunity this summer to see his artwork on display at the U.S. Capitol after winning the Congressional Art Competition for the Second Congressional District of Georgia.
U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, presented the award to Miller recently at the Albany Museum of Art.
“I’m pretty excited to win,” Miller said after the announcement.
This is the 40th year of the Congressional Art Competition, a nationwide visual art competition for high school students that is sponsored by the Congressional Institute. The winning entry from each participating district is taken to Washington, D.C., where the works are displayed for a year in the Cannon Tunnel, a busy corridor that connects the Cannon Office Building to the U.S. Capitol.
“It’s very heavily traveled, and visitors who come through there look at them (the artworks) every day,” Bishop said. “I’ve found myself stopping to look at some of the pieces because we have some incredibly talented young people across this country. Georgia is certainly well-represented among the talented, and, of course, the Second Congressional District always makes me proud.”
In addition to recognition in their respective districts, Miller and the other district winners will be invited to the annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Albany Museum of Art makes that trip possible for the student winner in the Second Congressional District by providing airfare and hotel accommodations for the young artist and a parent. The AMA also offers a $250 purchase price for the winning artwork.
“Investing in the young people in our community and region is an important mission of the Albany Museum of Art,” Director Andrew J. Wulf said. “Through this long-time partnership with Congressman Bishop, we are able to facilitate a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Tyler and others. These young people will have the opportunity to witness the display of their inspired creativity, on exhibit for thousands to see in our nation’s capital. Through this experience, these kids will grow in confidence knowing their voices are important and heard via their creative expression.”
Miller said this will be his first opportunity to visit the nation’s capital.
“I don’t travel that much, so I’m excited,” he said.
In addition to Miller, three high school artists from the Second District were recognized at the awards ceremony and reception.
Andrea Smith, also a junior at Dougherty High School, won second place for her untitled colored pencil drawing. Odalis Dominguez-Aguazul, a sophomore at Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts in Columbus, won third place for her graphite drawing “Fly Away.” Jared Gray, a senior at Kendrick High School in Columbus, won honorable mention for his work “Dynamic Display.”
Miller won with an untitled pencil drawing that used dark grays, dramatic warm colors, and intricate detailing to illustrate the facial features and weathered hands of a man lighting a cigarette in darkness. He said his mother, who teaches art, encouraged him to tackle a work that was “a little more difficult for me because she felt like I wasn’t being challenged. That was my inspiration.”
Bishop said the arts play an important role in society and the development of young people. Since its inception in 1982, the Congressional Art Competition has seen participation by more than 650,000 high school students across the United States.
“It (art) captures our culture and allows our young people to express their creativity and a sense of who we are as a people at this moment in time,” the congressman said. “I think we have some of the best, some of the brightest, some of the most creative young people anywhere in the world, and I’m just delighted to show off their talents.”