Congressional Art Competition for high school students comes to 48th District and Newport gallery

Furnishing Hope founder Beth Phillips displays student artwork from the Congressional Art Competition in the new Furnishing Hope Gallery in Newport Beach.
(Susan Hoffman)

Newport Harbor, Edison and Huntington Beach high schools are among 14 area schools participating in the Congressional Art Competition, which this year has come to the 48th Congressional District for the first time.

Each spring the Congressional Institute sponsors the high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation’s congressional districts.

For the record:

12:50 p.m. April 18, 2019This article originally misspelled Kaira Rouda’s first name as Kara.

Students submit entries to their representative’s office in various media, including photography, painting, drawing, prints, collages, mixed media and computer-generated. The 48th District, which stretches from Seal Beach to San Juan Capistrano, is represented by Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).

Panels of district artists select the winners, who are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Winners receive scholarship money, and their works are displayed for a year at the U.S. Capitol.

Robyn Phillips, left, and her mother, Furnishing Hope founder Beth Phillips, are surrounded by students’ Congressional Art Competition entries at the new Furnishing Hope Gallery in Newport Beach.
(Susan Hoffman)

In conjunction with the grand opening of the Furnishing Hope Gallery, student artwork is on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Friday and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at 1062 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach. Saturday’s event includes a coffee and croissants open house.

Furnishing Hope is a nonprofit that provides furniture and supplies to wounded military personnel and families in crisis. In 2017, founder Beth Phillips opened a home furnishings store bearing that name at Westcliff Plaza at 1100 Irvine Ave. in Newport Beach.

Phillips had the idea to bring the Congressional Art Competition to the Furnishing Hope Gallery after seeing an Instagram post about the competition by Rouda’s wife, Kaira.

“Congressman Rouda, his wife, Kaira, and a group of 25 constituents volunteered in our store for the day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Day in January, which is how the relationship started,” Phillips said. “We were excited about bringing the competition to his district, so we responded right away and invited them to use the gallery.”

Rouda will have a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday to honor the 48th District high school artists participating. The event will be at the Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

Susan Hoffman is a contributor to Times Community News. Daily Pilot staff contributed to this report.

A student’s painting is one of the entries in the Congressional Art Competition on display in the Furnishing Hope Gallery.
(Susan Hoffman)


This article was originally published at 5:05 p.m. April 17 and was later updated with additional information.