A Pekin, Ill. high school student is the winner of this year’s Congressional Art Competition in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.

Each year, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) invites high school students from across her district to submit their original artwork for the annual Congressional Art Competition. 

The first-place winner this year is Taylor Whitehall from Pekin Community High School, whose submission “The Last Goodbye” will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol. The four runners-up are:

  • Selene Diaz from Lewistown High School, whose submission “Mundo de Sueños” will be displayed in Congresswoman Bustos’ Washington, D.C. office lobby. 
  • Katelyn Stolz from Pekin Community High School, whose submission “Sunset of the Past” will be displayed in Congresswoman Bustos’ Peoria office.
  • Noelia Martinez from Kewanee High School, whose submission “Happiness and Sadness” will be displayed in Congresswoman Bustos’ Rock Island office. 
  • AJ Evon from Freeport High School, whose submission “Corvidae Family Tree” will be displayed in Congresswoman Bustos’ Rockford office. 
“Happiness and Sadness” by Noelia Martinez of Kewanee High School will hang in Bustos’ Rock Island office.

“Each year for the last decade, I’ve had the honor of recognizing outstanding artwork from students across Northwest and Central Illinois as part of the Congressional Art Competition. Our submissions this year show us once again the incredible talent of students in our community,” Bustos said in a Monday release.

“I’d like to congratulate this year’s winner, Taylor Whitehall, and our runners-up, Selene Diaz, Katelyn Stolz, Noelia Martinez and AJ Evon on a job well done. I also want to thank all of the students who participated. I look forward to proudly displaying their incredible artwork in each of my offices and seeing Taylor’s work in the halls of the Capitol on my way to the House floor for votes.”

The Congressional Art Competition, first held in 1982, is a nationwide high school art competition sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives. One winning piece of artwork from each House District will be selected to be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington for the next year.

Photos of this year’s Congressional Art Competition submissions can be found here