Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
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Pittenger announces winner of 2017 Congressional Art Competition

May 4, 2017
Press Release





WASHINGTON – Emily Decker, a senior at Weddington High School, is winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition.  Her graphite drawing, titled “Realization,” was judged best entry in a selection process that included professional artists, community input, and Congressman Pittenger’s staff.

Dr. Naomi Lifschitz-Grant, assistant professor of art at UNC Pembroke, remarked that “Reflections” is a “compelling composition,” makes “complex use of the medium,” and “created a variety of tones and values.” 

Lucas Krenzin, a professional fused glass artist from Monroe, said “I particularly like (Reflections) because of the story or the question I think it is asking.  The man is looking at his own hands with what looks like a high rise in the background.  The building is mostly complete but the top still has scaffolding and is under construction.  The building mirrors the man, most of his life has already been constructed, but there is still some left to create.”

As winner, Ms. Decker’s artwork will be displayed in a busy corridor of the U.S. Capitol for one year.  She’ll also receive scholarship offers from two prestigious southern arts universities and two complimentary airline tickets to fly to Washington to attend a reception in her honor.

Maya Cauthen of Charlotte Christian School was first runner-up for her scratch art titled “Family Ties.”  Caroline White of Charlotte Christian was second runner-up for her watercolor titled “Into the Woods.”

Additional finalists were Hanxi Chang from Charlotte Christian, Brooke Drury from Providence High School, and Lauren Forget from Charlotte Christian.

“The talent of each artist amazes me, and I have personally enjoyed viewing all of the incredible entries,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Congratulations to Emily Decker on winning the 2017 Congressional Art Competition.  Over the next year, I’ll be showing her drawing to all of our visitors at the U.S. Capitol.  Special thanks to Dr. Lifshitz-Grant at UNC Pembroke and Lucas Krenzin from Monroe for your expert advice on choosing this year’s winners.”

An album displaying all 37 entries is available on Congressman Pittenger’s Facebook page (  More than 20,000 have already viewed the artwork.

The 2017 Congressional Art Competition is carried out at no expense to the Federal Government.  All expenses are provided locally in the community.

A high-resolution image of Emily Decker’s winning entry can be viewed here.