Irvington High School freshman Michelle Zhou has won first place in the 2022 Congressional Art Competition for District 17 with her acrylic painting, “Too Late.” Having spent more than 40 hours on her piece, Zhou’s work brings awareness to the Earth’s environmental state.
“In the center of my painting, a woman who represents the Earth is drowning in a polluted ocean,” Zhou said. “She, or the Earth, is slowly dying from the filth and pollution we humans have caused. However, she still hopes that she can survive as she reaches upwards to the surface and the light. Therefore, the question is, ‘Will we do something to save the Earth before it’s really too late?’”
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries.
Zhou will be recognized in her district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Her artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for one year.