Cranston High School West sophomore Ella Rose was announced as the winner of Congressman Jim Langevin’s 2019 Artistic Discovery Contest on Sunday at the Warwick Mall.
Rose’s graphite and colored pencil drawing, “Control,” won first place and will be put on display at the U.S. Capitol for one year. It will be unveiled during a ceremony in June along with art competition winners from around the country. Rose and a guest will receive complimentary tickets to travel to the ceremony, thanks to Southwest Airlines.
In addition to Rose’s first-place win, several other Cranston students were named as honorable mention winners, including Mathilda Corcoran, a freshman at Cranston High School East, Jacob Parenteau, a Cranston student at Blue Door Studio, and Tiana Smith, a freshman at Cranston High School East.
Langevin said this year’s competition was difficult to judge, based on the level of talent that the entries represented and the fact that with 97 entries, it was the largest field in all of the 19 years he has hosted the competition.
“I am in awe of those with artistic talents and gifts,” he told the artists and their guests. He recognized Rhode Island’s appreciation for the arts statewide, dating back to when Claiborne Pell helped create the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“Each year that I host this competition, I am beyond impressed by the extraordinary artwork submitted by students across my district,” Langevin said. “I have pushed to increase the role of art and design in our education system because I understand their great value. The arts inspire us, they help us hone our creative abilities and they help us better understand the human experience. We must keep investing in the arts to foster these benefits and support our aspiring young artists. I congratulate Ella Rose for winning this year’s competition with her remarkable piece, and I wish the best to all of the participants as they continue to pursue their artistic aspirations.”
Randy Rosenbaum, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, thanked the students, their families and those who supported and encouraged the artists, including their art teachers.
“The work in and out of the classrooms is critically important,” he said as he asked for a round of applause for the teachers.
He also thanked the judges for their role and echoed Langevin’s words, noting the tough job each had in choosing the winners.
The judges were David C. DePetrillo, president ex-officio of the historic Providence Art Club; Mollie Flanagan, individual artists program director at the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts; and professional fine artist Anthony Tomaselli.
Each student who participated was given a citation from Langevin, as well as a gift bag containing complimentary art supplies courtesy of Jerry’s Artarama in Providence.
Langevin took time during the event to take individual photographs with each artist who was present, and to speak to them about their piece and where they attend school, before announcing the winners.
The second and third-place winners will have their artwork housed in Langevin’s Warwick office for the next year.