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Rep. Chu Honors Winners of the 32nd District's Artistic Discovery Competition

May 14, 2010
Press Release

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DUARTE, CA. – Congresswoman Judy Chu, D-CA32, honored the winners of the 32nd District Artistic Discovery Contest during a special ceremony last Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the City of Hope's Cooper Auditorium in Duarte.

The five winners, young artists from high schools throughout the district, were selected by the Congresswoman and her 2010 Artistic Discovery Committee from among more than 130 entries received.

The first place winner was Benito Rojas of East Los Angeles, who attends Central Los Angeles High School No. 9 for the Visual and Performing Arts. His piece, a photographic entry titled "La Malinche," earned him a $1,500 scholarship and an all-expenses paid trip and hotel stay in Washington, D.C., along with his parents. They will travel to the nation's capital in June for the official unveiling of the winning Artistic Discovery entries from Congressional Districts throughout the nation, and Benito's piece, along with all the other winning entries, will be displayed in the Capitol building for the next year.

The other 32nd District awardees include:

*Second-place winner Jason Nguyen, a Sierra Vista High School student from Baldwin Park, whose entry was a charcoal-based self-portrait series entitled "Train of Thoughts." Jason will receive a $1,000 scholarship and will have his piece displayed for a year in Congresswoman Chu's Washington, D.C. office.

*Alaina Thai, a Sierra Vista High School student also from Baldwin Park, whose white-charcoal portrait titled "Young Persian Girl" earned third place in the competition. Alaina received a $750 scholarship, and her piece will be on display at the Congresswoman's El Monte district office over the next year.

*West Covina resident Joey Navarro, of Nogales High School, earned a Judge's Choice award for his mixed media piece "Where is the Love?" He receives a $500 scholarship and will have his piece displayed at the Congresswoman's district office.

*Honorable mention went to Gabriela Ledesma of Arroyo High School in El Monte, whose pencil portrait titled "Tyra" earned her a $500 scholarship and will be displayed in the Congresswoman's district office.

"We were truly blown away by the quality and creativity of all our submissions, and I encourage each and every one of these young artists, whether they won an award or not, to continue to pursue their art," said Rep. Chu. "I was touched by the message and the effort involved in so many of our entries, and I am confident that we have many more successful future artists here in our district than the winners recognized in our competition."

Goodie bags for the contest winners, food, entertainment, airfare and accommodations and other donations were provided by the 2010 32nd District Artistic Discovery Contest sponsors, which included: Citrus Valley Association of Realtors, City of Hope, Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education, City of Baldwin Park, Picasso's Café, Catering, and Bakery Co., Carousel Realty, Creative Planet School of the Arts, Elm Concierge, SCE Federal Credit Union, Southwest Airlines, Doubletree Hotel – Monrovia, The Gas Company, LC Green Inc., Inter-Graphics Company, Charter Communications and Lemieux & O'Neil Law Firm. The 2010 Artistic Discovery Committee Chair was Elizabeth Bagwell of City of Hope.