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Front view of the Capitol

Congresswoman Cori Bush Announces Winner of the First District 2021 Congressional Art Competition with Reception Honoring all Student Participants

June 11, 2021

ST. LOUIS, MO – Today, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) announced the winner of the 2021 Discovery Art Contest during a reception honoring all of the St. Louis-area high school students who participated. Alyssa Shen, a 9th grader from Metro Academic and Classical High School, won first place with her pencil drawing “Ella.”  

An independent panel of judges, made up of local artists, also selected two runners-up and six honorable mentions from the 29 pieces of work submitted. All of the artwork will be displayed at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art until July 11. The winning piece will then be hung in the U.S. Capitol for one year. The runners-up and six honorable mentions artwork will be displayed in the Congresswoman’s Congressional offices.

“I’m so proud of each and every student who shared their artistic talents with us as part of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush. “I want to congratulate every young person who participated, and thank the parents, guardians, teachers and others who continue to support them. I’m grateful to the judges for their time and thoughtfulness and to the Saint Louis University Museum of Art for graciously hosting us. This next generation of artists channeled their voices into works of art that are not only beautiful, but also speak truth to power. I am confident they will continue the legacy of resistance through art, and I am eager to see what they will do next.” 

The theme of this year’s competition was “Resistance.” The winning artwork and student information can be found below. A downloadable version of all of the winners artwork is available here.

1st Place
Alyssa Shen
Metro Academic and Classical High School
Pencil Drawing

2nd Place
Merrick Hoel
University City High School
“It’s A Temporary Thing”
Acrylic & Photography

Third Place
Isabelle Jackson-Cameron
Metro Academic and Classical High School
Acrylic & Marker

Honorable Mention
 Jordyn Shaw
Metro Academic and Classical High School
“I Can’t Breathe”

Honorable Mention
Bobby Reed II
Normandy Senior High School
“Keys of Resistance”
Mixed Media: Pencil & Ink


Honorable Mention
 John Ruland
“Municipal Boundaries”
University City High School

Honorable Mention
Mialla Klohr
“Stop the Pipeline”
University City High School
Block Print

Honorable Mention

Samantha Siemer
Maplewood Richmond Heights High School
“Faces of Resistance”

Honorable Mention

Sadie Malks
University City High School
“Circus Skeleton”


Congresswoman Cori Bush represents Missouri’s First Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. She serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. She is also a Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a proud member of the Congressional Black Caucus. She is a registered nurse, single mother, and an ordained pastor. Following the murder of Michael Brown Jr. by a now-terminated Ferguson police officer, she became a civil rights activist and community organizer fighting for justice for Black lives on the streets of Missouri and across the country.