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April 26, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

SRU hosts Congressional Art Competition

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University plays host Saturday to the 3rd Congressional District component of the national 2013 Congressional Art Competition - Artistic Discovery. The competition is for high school students, with the winning student receiving the opportunity to display his or her artwork in the U.S. Capitol.

SRU art professors will judge students' art and pick first-, second- and third-place winners. Second and third place finishers will have their art displayed in the Washington, D.C., Office of U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3rd District.

It is the first time SRU has hosted the regional version of the competition. Stephanie Stevenson, a 2012 SRU elementary education graduate from Beaver Falls who works for Kelly, approached SRU about sponsoring the local version of the competition.

Kelly is scheduled to present the awards at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in SRU's Martha Gault Art Gallery, where the student work will be displayed.

Organizers said 25 high school students from eight Western Pennsylvania high schools submitted paintings, drawings and graphics for the competition. The high schools are Slippery Rock, Seneca Valley, Union, Villa Maria, Hickory, Knock and Kennedy Catholic and McDowell.

Tom Como, SRU professor of art, said the competition is valuable for high school students because it gives them exposure to college art professors.

"It is important to see the commitment to the arts and to acknowledge the efforts of these students so that hopefully they will continue art as a career choice," Como said.

Members of Congress voluntarily sponsor the 32nd Congressional art competition April 27. The winning artist is invited to Washington, D.C., for a national reception honoring the winning artists from all over the country.

Winning art will be displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel of the Capitol.

Como said Heather Hertel, Barbara Westman and Trisha Biship, assistant professors of art, and Jon Shumway, associate professor of art, will judge the pieces.

According to the rules of the competition, artwork must be two-dimensional and be no larger than 28 inches high, 28 inches wide and four inches deep. Art cannot weigh more than 15 pounds and should be original in concept, design and execution.

The full range of mediums includes paintings, drawings, collage, prints, mixed media, lithographs, computer-generated art and photography.

Como said art professors would review the artwork today, with an awards ceremony offered Saturday.

The 2012 winning artwork may be viewed at

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.