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Janesville Student Wins First District Congressional Art Competition

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May 05, 2016 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments

JANESVILLE, WI — On Saturday, April 30, Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, announced Craig High School junior Norah Swenson as the winner of the 2016 First District Congressional Art Competition.  Norah was honored during a ceremony held at the Olde Towne Mall in Janesville.  The ceremony was attended by the student artists, their friends and families, their art teachers, and the judges of the First District Art Competition.

Paul Ryan and Norah

Norah’s piece, using pen and ink entitled You Must Be Brave, is a portrait of Malala Yousafzasi, made entirely of the phrase, “You must be brave.” Malala Yousafzasi was an outspoken advocate of women’s education in the Middle East. As a result, the Taliban repeatedly threatened her life until one day she was shot. Amazingly, Malala survived, and she continues to be a strong advocate for education and an opponent of terrorism. Her quote, “You must be brave,” is what Malala reminded herself throughout her efforts to receive an education.

“I'm always impressed by the amount of young artistic talent we have right here in southern Wisconsin. We received very impressive entries this year, and that’s why Norah, from my alma mater, Craig High School, and her family should be proud of her accomplishment. I want to congratulate her on her well-deserved victory, and thank all the other young artists who submitted pieces in this year’s competition,” said Congressman Ryan.

Each year, Congressman Ryan invites high schools students in the First District to participate in the congressional art competition.  The winning artwork is selected by a panel of judges comprised of local artists, and is then submitted to represent Wisconsin’s First District in the national “Congressional Art Competition: An Artistic Discovery.” This nationwide art competition, which is voluntarily sponsored by members of Congress, gives high-school artists the opportunity to showcase their work locally, as well as the chance to be recognized at the national level for their talent and creativity. The winning artwork from each district is put on display within the U.S. Capitol for an entire year where it can be viewed by the millions of visitors who pass through the Capitol throughout the year.

A photo of Congressman Ryan with Norah Swenson, and her winning piece You Must Be Brave can be viewed here.
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Tags: Education