Okemos High student wins 7th Congressional District art prize

Sophomore Emma Li 's painting will hang in U.S. Capitol


WEDNESDAY, May 17 — An Okemos High School student has won the 2023 Congressional High School Art Competition in the 7th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced today.

The winner, Emma Li, a sophomore at Okemos High School, will attend a national reception this summer in Washington along with all of the 2023 winning artists from across the country. Li’s oil painting, “Homestyle,” depicts her grandfather cooking in his kitchen, as seen through the doorway of his home. The judges and Slotkin praised its “attention to detail and maturity of execution,” a statement from her office said.

“Emma’s artwork captures an everyday scene with such remarkable poignancy, and I can’t wait to see it hanging in the U.S. Capitol building alongside some of the finest student artwork from across the country,” Slotkin said. “This year’s student artists took us through a range of emotions and issues with their work, and I am so proud of the depth of talent and range of expression. It’s not easy to put a piece of yourself into the world to be judged, and these student artists all displayed tremendous courage.” 

This year, the congresswoman also awarded a special prize called the Spirit of the 7th District to Lilliana Collins of Holt High School. Her comic strip depicted the impact of the February 2023 mass shooting at Michigan State University, which her brother attends. 

The judges also selected several honorable mention pieces. The second-place piece, “The Lute,” by Hartland High School student Breanna Zaborowksi, will be showcased in Slotkin’s Washington office, while the third-place piece, “Friendship,” by Brighton High School student Caitlyn McKenzie, will hang in her Lansing district office. The pieces selected fourth and fifth will hang in the visitors’ area of her district office. The fourth-place piece is “Growth,” by Janelle Ostrowski of Lansing Catholic High School, and the fifth-place piece is “Time Out,” by Seraphim Rose Prince from Everett High School in Lansing.

Slotkin’s office said a record 63 students from 19 high schools submitted entries in the 7th District, which comprises all of Ingham, Livingston, Shiawassee and Clinton counties and parts of Eaton, Oakland and Genesee counties.


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