By Eunice Kim
In early May, sophomore Donna Doyeon Kim emerged as one of the winners of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for her mixed media painting “Dreaming My Ideal World.”
Her piece was chosen to be the best in California’s congressional districts. The selection process consisted of three judges organizing the works into first, second place, and third place, as well as an online voting system in which viewers input their opinions.
Every year, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide visual arts competition to recognize the artistic merits of high school students.
This year is the 36th year that the Institute has sponsored the competition.
Kim’s artwork depicts two hands, surrounded by paint brushes, coloring in flowers on an otherwise monotone palette with a reflection of the artist.
“Her art is not only beautiful, but it represents a thoughtful and meaningful approach to self-expression,” Director of Communications and Development Marilyn Koziatek said.
Kim’s awards included two complimentary airfare tickets to Washington D.C.
“We had a reception there. And I was able to tour around and meet the congressmen,” Kim said.
Meanwhile, selected artworks had the chance to be displayed in the Congressional Art Competition exhibit and be displayed at the United States Capitol for one year.
Kim admitted that she was surprised upon discovering that she had won such a prestigious and selective competition.
“The competition was rigorous. There were a lot of strict rules for my artwork to be applicable. I was so stressed out before submitting to the competition,” she said.
Although the art piece didn’t have to abide by a specific theme, it did have to meet a certain guidelines. It had to measure 26” x 26” x 4” when framed and weigh less than 15 pounds. In addition, works of a politically charged or gruesome nature were not allowed in adherence to the House Office Building Commission Policy.
However, the acceptable mediums varied.
“The artwork may include paintings, drawings, collage, prints, mixed media, computer-generated art and photography,” according to the La Jolla News
Kim joined the national competition to prove her artistic prowess.
“I entered the competition because one of my favorite hobbies is drawing or painting and so I decided to try it out. In addition, the competition seemed really different and unique from other competitions,” Kim said.
The competition was a pivotal experience for the winners in terms of being recognized, but Kim also saw it as a way to learn and impact others through her art.
“I feel happy because art is something that can allow me to influence others, which is one of the reasons why I am really passionate about art. Even if I had not won the competition, I wouldn’t have regretted my decision to enter,” Kim said.