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Roybal-Allard honors winners of district art contest

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Commerce, has announced the 40th Congressional District Student Art winners for 2015.

It is the 22nd straight year Roybal-Allard has conducted the event, a spokesperson said.

First place winner is Downey High School senior Justine Muñoz’s entry, “Rebirth.”

She created her art work with colored pencils, and says it is based on her own life experiences.

“The thorns symbolize the pain and difficult moments, while the butterflies and roses signify a new inspiration,” she said.

Other winners included: Sabrina Claros, also a senior at Downey High School, second place with “Beauty Hurts,” a photograph; Leilani Gonzalez, a senior from Bell Gardens High School, third place for her colored pencil drawing; and Los Angeles resident Karla Maria Jacome, a freshman at Roosevelt High School Magnet, won honorable mention.

The People’s Choice Award winner was Batoul Akil, a Bell resident and a senior at Bell High School, with her acrylic on canvas painting.

The 101 entries were judged on originality, technical skill, artistic presentation, and use of color and contrast.

For winning first place, Munoz will receive a $1,000 scholarship, $200 for art supplies, and a trip to Washington, D.C. for herself and a parent and $500 for travel expenses.

Munoz’s entry will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year, while the remaining winning students will have their artwork displayed in Roybal-Allard’s District Office in Commerce, the spokesperson said.

Claros will receive a $750 scholarship and $175 for art supplies. Gonzalez will receive a $500 scholarship and $150 for art supplies.

Jacome and Akil will each receive a $250 scholarship and $125 for art supplies.

Each winner’s school is eligible to receive a gift card to purchase supplies to advance their art program. In addition, schools with five or more entries are eligible to receive $100 for art supplies.

“Every year, I eagerly look forward to this art competition,” Roybal-Allard said. “It’s such a wonderful way for our local youth to share their creativity and talent with the community. It also reminds us of the positive impact that art and art education can have on students’ academic performance, self-esteem, and confidence.”