Student Artists Featured at Annual Chester County High School Art Festival

Chrissy Houlahan and Congressional WinnersChrissy Houlahan and Congressional Winners (Submitted Images)

WEST CHESTER, PA — Over 300 high school students across Chester County and beyond displayed their artwork at the 2022 Chester County High School Art Festival and 9th annual Congressional District Art Competition. The weeklong show kicked off on Friday, April 8 at the Chester County Art Association, and ran through Monday, April 25.

This year’s entries were also simultaneously submitted for Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan’s Congressional Art Competition for students living in the 6th District of Pennsylvania. Each spring, across the nation, members of the U.S. House of Representatives sponsor a high school art competition, with the grand prize winner having his or her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. The second and third place artwork will be displayed in Congresswoman Houlahan’s district offices located in Reading, PA and Washington, D.C.

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Shurti Bedekar, a senior from West Chester Henderson High School, won the first place Congressional Award. “I’m just overwhelmed. I was not expecting this at all, but it feels amazing,” said Bedekar. When asked what inspired her to create her piece, she said, “Because of COVID, my art teacher offered additional art classes over the summer. We sat in Everhart Park in West Chester, and she told us to draw anything around us, so I drew the house.”

The second-place winner for the Congressional District show was Jia Lin from Conestoga High School; in third place was Leah Nicberte, also from West Chester Henderson High School.

A free reception and awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, April 20, during which the Congressional Art Competition and Chester County Art Association Awards were presented.

Kayla Dembrak Category Winner
Kayla Dembrak, Category Winner

“In the current art class that I am taking, you have leeway to create whatever you want. So, I knew that I wanted to do another oil painting,” noted Kayla Dembrak, first-place category winner from Great Valley High School. When asked how it felt to see her artwork win a first-place award in the 2022 Chester County Art Festival, Dembrak said, “It feels really nice. I worked super hard on it, so I’m glad that it was recognized tonight.”

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The Chester County High School Art Festival is coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit. To see a full list of the art show winners, visit www.cciu.org/Art-Show.

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