Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Congressional Art Competition Winners Announced

Apr 20, 2018
Press Release

First Place Winner Is Hayley Wahl of Out-of Door Academy

SARASOTA – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan announced today the winners of the 2018 High School Congressional Art Competition, a district-wide showcase for young artists.  The first-place winner of the annual competition was Hayley Wahl of Out-of-Door Academy.  Kyla Rudd of Lakewood Ranch High School was this year’s Facebook Fan Favorite winner.

“I’m impressed by the exceptional talent of every high schooler who submitted artwork for this year’s competition. It’s clear that students from the 16th Congressional District have an endless amount of creativity and skill,” Buchanan said. “Hayley’s art will be placed on display in the U.S. Capitol and Kyla’s art will be displayed in my Washington, D.C. office.”

The Ringling Museum Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections Curator Sarah Cartwright, the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Ola Wlusek, and the Ringling Museum Manager of Design and Production Libby Bennette judged the entries. 

The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide high school visual art competition. This year there were 41 students who participated in Florida’s 16th District contest.

The winning entry, Hayley’s “Cicada Study,” will be showcased for one year in the highly traveled corridor between the U.S. Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building. The Out-of-Door Academy student will receive roundtrip airfare to Washington from Southwest Airlines to attend the Congressional Reception in June.

For the third year in a row, the 16th Congressional District’s contest included a separate recognition – the “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award – awarded to the student whose artwork won the highest number of likes and shares combined on the Congressman’s Facebook page. Kyla’s “Self Portrait,” received 235 likes and 167 shares.

The full list of winners from Florida’s 16th District include: 

  • First Place – Hayley Wahl’s “Cicada Study,” Out-of-Door Academy in Lakewood Ranch.
  • Second Place – Virgilio Lopez’s “Life Lessons,” Lakewood Ranch Middle School in Lakewood Ranch.
  • Third Place – Cole Chalhub’s “Albert Einstein,” Out-of-Door Academy in Lakewood Ranch.
  • Honorable Mention – Harley Haas’s “Before She Writes,” Sarasota High School
  • The “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award – Kyla Rudd’s “Self Portrait,” Sarasota High School in Sarasota.

The second and third place winners’ art work, as well as the honorable mentions’ submissions, will remain on display in the Johnson-Blalock Education Center at the Ringling Museum for two months.