Local student wins national art contest

Local student wins national art contest
Portrait to be displayed in U.S. Capitol for one year.
Portrait to be displayed in U.S. Capitol for one year.

AMARILLO, TEXAS - A Caprock High School student has been selected to represent the 13th Congressional District of Texas in the nationwide 2015 Congressional Art Contest. A pastel portrait submitted by Michael Alvarez, son of Olivia Alvarado of Amarillo, will be displayed in the hallways of the United States Capitol for an entire year. 

The portrait of his grandfather, entitled "Tito," was selected as the winning entry from the 13th District of Texas. "My grandfather has been an instrumental figure throughout my life," Michael said of his winning artwork. "I find that when I have a connection with the person I am describing in my artwork, a spiritual experience is made visual. Portraying him through my art was an honor."

Winners of the competition are invited to Washington, D.C., for a special reception to honor the winners. Michael and his mother, Olivia, plan to attend the event this year and visit with U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry while they are there. 

"We had many impressive pieces of art submitted by students from across our part of Texas for this year's Congressional Art Competition," Thornberry said. "Michael's portrait of his grandfather demonstrates a great deal of artistic talent. I am proud to have it represent our district in the Capitol building for the next year."

Michael's art teacher, Shawn Kennedy, said, "Michael is an incredibly talented artist." He continued, "The level of virtuosity he emanates upon his portraits are exceptional and far beyond a typical advanced student. His work captures the essence of the individual in a manner equivocal to any professional." Michael is a senior at Caprock High School. 

The Congressional Art Contest is a national competition that selects one piece of artwork from all 435 U.S. congressional districts and territories for a year-long exhibit in Washington, D.C. The annual contest for high school students has taken place since 1982.

Source: U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry, 13th District of Texas