A Crescenta Valley High School senior who submitted her art into a congressional competition won first place out of nearly 60 entries from students who attend 24 schools throughout Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Burbank) 28th congressional district.
Mimi Suh’s mixed-media piece titled “Building Blocks” will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year, alongside other winning pieces from across the country.
She will attend a reception honoring her art and the winning works by other students who won their respective congressional competitions at the Capitol next month.
Suh’s piece features a girl surrounded by alphabet and number blocks. It was inspired by children she observed at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge.
“I didn’t know what I was doing at first,” Suh recalled. “I do have a love for children. In the beginning, I wanted to capture the sadness children may hold in the world.”
She spotted one girl at the gardens who was not smiling. Still, Suh observed “there was a hint of smile in her.”
She created the piece with pen, water color, acrylic and colored pencil.
During a reception at Descanso Gardens earlier this month, Suh said she was shocked when Schiff announced she was the contest’s first-place winner.
She said she was also grateful to her family and teachers for their encouragement.
“There were a lot of people who helped me, who supported me through it,” Suh said.
Suh has been drawing since she was 7 years old and plans to study illustration at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena next spring.
She will spend the next five months creating a portfolio.
Schiff also announced that Goar Ayrapetyan’s photograph titled “Looking for an Opening” won second place. The Burbank resident attends John Burroughs High School, where she is a senior.
The third-place honor went to Annabel Lawton Boardman, a Los Feliz resident and student at L.A. County High School for the Arts, for her linocut print titled “Ministry of Peace.”
Ayrapetyan and Boardman’s works will be displayed in Schiff’s Washington D.C. and Burbank offices, respectively.
Meanwhile, the “People’s Choice” award went to Burbank resident Monika Uguryan for her painting “World’s Eye,” which will hang in Schiff’s Hollywood office.
Uguryan attends the Atanian Art Center: School of Fine Art & Design in Glendale.
Schiff said he’s honored to see young artists showcase their talent and congratulated them in a statement.
“Every student involved in this competition deserves recognition, and I hope they will all continue to enrich our community with their artwork,” he said.
The congressional art competition was established in 1982, and more than 650,000 students have participated in it across the country.