Ryan Hatch, a high school student from St. Mary’s County, Maryland, has been announced as the winner of the 2023 Congressional Art Competition for Maryland’s Fifth District. The announcement was made by Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) on June 30th, 2023.
Hatch’s winning piece, “A New Dawn,” was selected from a pool of submissions from high school students across the district. The painting depicts a sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay, with vibrant colors and intricate details.
“I am so proud of Ryan and his accomplishment,” said Hatch’s art teacher, Ms. Johnson. “He has worked incredibly hard on this piece, and seeing his talent recognized is amazing.”
As the competition winner, Hatch’s painting will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. He will also receive two round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C., to attend the national reception for Congressional Art Competition winners.
Celebrating Local Art
The Congressional Art Competition is an annual event that allows high school students nationwide to showcase their artistic talents. Each congressional district selects a winner whose artwork is displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
In addition to the national recognition, the competition also highlights the importance of arts education in schools. “Art education is critical to the development of our young people,” said Rep. Hoyer. “It helps them to think creatively, express themselves, and develop important life skills.”
The competition also provides an opportunity to celebrate local art and artists. “We have so many talented young artists in our district,” said Rep. Hoyer. “It’s wonderful to see their work recognized and appreciated.”
Supporting the Arts
The arts are essential to any community, and St. Mary’s County is no exception. In addition to the Congressional Art Competition, the county also hosts an annual arts festival, which showcases the work of local artists and performers.
Supporting the arts is not only crucial for the cultural enrichment of a community, but it also has economic benefits. According to a report by the National Endowment for the Arts, the arts and cultural sector contributed $804.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, representing 4.3% of GDP.
In light of the economic and cultural benefits of the arts, communities must continue to support and invest in arts education and programming. Programs like the Congressional Art Competition help to foster creativity and talent in young people while also providing opportunities for recognition and celebration.
As for Ryan Hatch, winning the Congressional Art Competition is a tremendous accomplishment he will undoubtedly remember for years. His painting, “A New Dawn,” will remind us of the importance of the arts in our schools and communities and the talent and creativity of our young people.