Rep. Mike Levin Announces Winners of the 2020 Congressional Art Competition

May 15, 2020
Press Release

San Juan Capistrano, CA – During his weekly virtual town hall, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced that Oceanside High School freshman Juan Garcia and his “Sunset at the San Diego County Fair” photograph is the first place winner of the 2020 Congressional Art Competition for California’s 49th District. Each year, high school students across the nation compete for an opportunity to display their artwork in the United States Capitol alongside winners from other Congressional Districts. This year, Rep. Levin’s District had a total of 32 submissions from Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, Pacific Ridge, and San Dieguito Academy High Schools.

Additionally, Levin announced that a photograph titled “Self-Reflection” by Zafir Maker-Agha of Pacific Ridge School took second place; an acrylic and oil painting titled “Fragile Wings” by Ria Chockalingam, of the San Dieguito Academy, took third place; and a photograph titled “Mya and Minnie’s Day in the Snow” by Ethan Simpson, of Vista High School, earned an Honorable Mention. Levin also awarded the “Fan Favorite” recognition to a digital photograph titled “Mid-Day Ocotillo Wells” by Tara McKinley, of Vista High School, which earned more than 260 likes on his Facebook page.

“Even during an unprecedented and stressful time in our country, the submissions this year did not disappoint,” said Rep. Levin. “Every art piece entered into our competition deserves recognition, and I am so incredibly impressed by the creativity and talent of our young constituents. I want to congratulate all of this year’s winners, and I look forward to viewing their art in person as soon as we can!”

The top three winners will receive cash prizes, and the first place winner will receive two roundtrip tickets to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony to honor their work once it’s displayed in the Capitol building. All five winners will receive a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Levin.

This year, the panel of judges included Maria Mingalone and Erika Williams of the Oceanside Museum of Art and Zach Cordner of The Osider Magazine. The prizes for the top three winners were provided by Arts Orange County, a nonprofit arts council led by Rick Stein, and made possible by a grant from AT&T’s regional representative, Richard Porras.

To see a full gallery of artwork submissions, click here.