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Winners of Pocan’s 2022 Congressional Art Competition includes Darlington student
“Desert” Acrylic on canvas by Jenna Torstenson, Darlington High School

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On May 10, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) announced that Ellie Maxwell from FJ Turner High School in Beloit was awarded first place in this year’s district-wide Congressional Art Competition. The annual contest seeks to spotlight local talent and promote arts education, fostering the next generation of Wisconsin artists. Rep. Pocan has run the competition each year since coming to Congress.

“The talent in the Congressional Art Competition is stunning every year. It’s truly a testament to how impressive Wisconsin’s young people are and the impact our art community has on our students,” Pocan said. “I want to thank all the wonderful artists who participated in this year’s competition. Ellie, Elizabeth, and Jenna are great examples of the kind of talent that this competition is designed to highlight. I look forward to seeing their artwork every day as a reminder of the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities.”

Ellie’s painting titled “Breaking Point,” which earned the first place title, will be exhibited in the U.S. Capitol for one year. Second place went to Elizabeth Vankirk from Madison County Day School for a piece titled “White Crane Magic,” which will be displayed in the Congressman’s Washington, D.C. office. The third place winner, Jenna Torstenson from Darlington High School, received Congressional Recognition and will have a painting titled “Desert” displayed in the Congressman’s District Office in Madison.

The three awardees were selected by a panel of judges from a group of 18 talented young artists who submitted artwork to be considered for the 2022 Congressional Art Competition. Three of the 18 were from Darlington.

Sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the art competition provides an opportunity for Members of Congress in each of their districts to encourage and recognize the talents of their young constituents.

To view all of the 2022 student submissions, visit