BRADENTON, FL – Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced the winners of the 2024 Congressional Art Competition, a district-wide showcase for high school-aged artists. This year, forty-one exceptional entries were submitted from across the district.

The first-place winner is Zachary Keshish, a rising junior at Lakewood Ranch Preparatory Academy in Bradenton, FL. His artwork, “Bored,” will be displayed in Washington, D.C. for one year in the highly traveled corridor between the U.S. Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building.

“I was thankful to win the Congressional Art Competition,” said first-place winner Zach Keshish. “Attending the winner’s ceremony in Washington, D.C. allowed me to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum, further inspiring my love of art and creating it.”

The second-place winner is Ella Thompson from Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton, with her piece “Orange,” and third place went to Brooke Malecki’s “Peace Is Just Around The Corner” from Lennard High School in Ruskin, Florida.

An additional component of the annual art competition includes the “Facebook Fan Favorite” Awards. The winning pieces in this category are displayed in the Congressman’s offices in D.C., Bradenton, and Brandon. The winners are Betsy Neal with “Dancing With The Waves,” Ella Thompson with “Orange,” and Madison McAvoy with “Bus Mirror,” all from Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton.

“I’m incredibly impressed by the exceptional talent of every high schooler who submitted artwork for this year’s competition,” stated Congressman Vern Buchanan. “It’s clear that students in our area have an endless amount of creativity and talent.”

The judging panel included curators from the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. More information on the Congressional Art Competition can be found on our website at