Skip to main content

U.S. Rep. Newman (IL-03) Announces 2021 Congressional Art Competition Winner

May 6, 2021

This year’s winner is Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences student Elizabeth Cervantes

CHICAGO, IL – Today, U.S. Representative Marie Newman (IL-03) announced the winner of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition from Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. This year’s winning art piece, “Tio”, was created by Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences student and Mt. Greenwood resident Elizabeth Cervantes. Cervantes’ artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol for a year and will be displayed next to the winning competition entries from congressional districts across the United States. 

“Our office was blown away by the talent among the student artists who entered the Congressional Arts Competition. Our judges, who are three artists from Illinois’ 3rd District, were thrilled to see so many high school students with a passion for art as a means of self-expression and social change,” said Congresswoman Newman. “Our winning entry by Elizabeth Cervantes exemplifies the rich traditions of IL-03. I am incredibly honored to display her artwork in the U.S. Capitol next year as an illustration of the incredible talent and voice of so many young people on the Southwest Side of Chicago. In a year marked by uncertainty and loss, particularly for high school students, our office was proud to provide an opportunity to celebrate their incredible accomplishments.”  

Inspired by her grandfather, Cervantes’ magnificent art piece depicts a Day of the Dead altar, which she says is designed to connect those who see her artwork with her family’s culture and traditions.  

"This altar was created in honor of my grandfather who passed away a few days before the Day of the Dead. To connect my living family to my ancestors during this holiday, we celebrate and remember those who have passed by creating altars,” said Elizabeth Cervantes, high school student at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. “I have celebrated Day of the Dead for most of my life, and this piece reflects the altars I have created in the past. Winning this contest allows me to share my beautiful culture with many people. It is important to learn about the different traditions of different people, and I am proud to be a part of implementing diversity in my community.” 

Every year, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. 

Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.