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April 29, 2014

Rep. Schiff Announces Winners of Congressional Art Competition

Burbank, CA –This weekend, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) hosted the annual 28th District Congressional Art Competition Forum and Exhibit at Van De Kamp Hall in Descanso Gardens.  During the exhibit, attended by more than 200 students, teachers and parents, Schiff announced that Celynne Hebron’s piece “This Too Shall Pass” had won first place and will be included in the nationwide Congressional Arts Competition: An Artistic Discovery in Washington, D.C.  Her artwork will hang in the United States Capitol for one year, along with that of other winners from around the nation. Hebron is from Hollywood, and attends Immaculate Heart High School. 

Additionally, Schiff announced that Grace Poole, a student from La Crescenta attending Crescenta Valley High School, and Madisen Hunt, a student from Glendale attending Crescenta Valley High School, had won second and third place, respectively. Schiff also awarded the “People’s Choice” award to Gigi Manukyan, a student from Burbank attending Burbank High School.  Almost 2,000 constituents voted in the “People’s Choice” online contest this year. 

“Every year, I get the opportunity to see some absolutely amazing artwork submitted by high school students from across our community,” said Schiff.  “All of the students involved deserve recognition for their hard work and exceptional talent, and I hope that they will all continue to enrich us with their artwork.  I particularly want to congratulate Celynne, Grace, Madisen and Gigi on being named the winners, and look forward to enjoying their artwork in the Capitol and my offices throughout the coming year.  Great job, everyone!”

Ms. Hebron’s artwork was awarded first prize by a panel of local judges for her photograph entitled “This Too Shall Pass.” She attends Immaculate Heart High School in the 11th grade, and is from Hollywood – her artwork will hang in the Capitol for the next year. Second place was awarded to Grace Poole, who attends Crescenta Valley High School in the 12th grade and is from La Crescenta, for her acrylic painting titled “Questions.” Ms. Poole’s artwork will hang in Congressman Schiff’s Washington, DC office for one year.  Third place was awarded to Madisen Hunt, who attends Crescenta Valley High School in the 12th grade and is from Glendale, for her pen and ink drawing titled “Disintegrating Angel.”  Her artwork will hang in Schiff’s Burbank District Office for one year. 

Schiff also awarded the “People’s Choice” award to Gigi Manukyan, who attends Burbank High School and is from Burbank, for her oil painting titled “Portrait of My Uncle.” The “People’s Choice” winner’s artwork will be displayed in Schiff’s Hollywood District Office.

The judges serving on the panel to award the different prizes included Nyla Arslanian, Monica Elayne Hicks-Jenkins and Kellye Nakahara Wallett:

  • Nyla Arslanian is one of Hollywood’s strongest advocates for the arts.  President of the Hollywood Arts Council since 1984, Nyla created many of the Council’s programs including the Children’s Festival of the Arts and its Project S.O.A.R., after school art workshops conducted in six of Hollywood’s Title 1 elementary schools.  Through her leadership, the Council has brought the arts to over 15,000 elementary school children and nearly 70,000 at its annual Children’s Festival.
  • Monica Elayne Hicks-Jenkins is a working artist, arts educator, Notary Public and pastry chef.  She is the former Director of Development and Marketing at the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga, California.  She has displayed work in Kinshasa as a part of the ART in Embassies Program from 2009 – 2013.  Monica holds a B.A. in Studio Arts from the University of California, Irvine and an M.F.A. in Visual Art from the California Institute of the Arts. 
  • Kellye Nakahara Wallett, watercolor artist, is also known for her role as “Nurse Kellye” in the TV series “M*A*S*H.”  Kellye’s collection “The Gardens of Pasadena” features historical landmarks and gardens in Pasadena, and her paintings are on display at Pasadena City Hall.  Her painting “Koi” was selected by then-State Senator Jack Scott in 2001 to represent his district in an exhibition at the State Capitol.  In 2008, Kellye was invited by Congressman Adam Schiff to paint a Christmas Ornament for the Official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room.  Kellye served on Pasadena’s Arts and Culture Commission for 6 years and is currently the Artist in Residence for the Towne Singers.

This year, there were 46 entries representing 19 high schools in the 28th Congressional District.  Each student participant received a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congressman Schiff.  The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have participated in the nationwide competition.