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Higgins Announces Winners of Annual Student Art Competition

May 13, 2017
Press Release

Winning Piece Headed to U.S. Capitol

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the winners of the annual Congressional Art Competition.  Higgins received 54 pieces of artwork from students from 11 local high schools.

The top winner from each congressional district is invited to Washington, D.C. for the official unveiling of the gallery, featuring artwork from around the nation, on display in the Cannon Tunnel to the Capitol Building.  The 2017 Grand Prize winner from Congressman Higgins’ district is Jaylen Coleman, a student at South Park High School. Jaylen’s mixed media piece is titled “Talented.” 

“The creativity of local student artists is impressive and diverse,” said Congressman Higgins.  “We are proud to have the opportunity highlight this incredible artwork here in the Larkin Building and put a Western New York artist’s work on display in the Nation’s capital.”

Below is a complete list of this year’s winners:

Grand Prize    
Name:  Jaylen Coleman
School:  South Park High School
Title: “Talented”
Medium:  Mixed

Congressman Higgins standing with Jaylen Coleman, grand prize winner of the Congressional District Art Competition

1st Runner-up 
Name:  Brandon Borzynski
School:  Cardinal O’Hara High School
Title:  “My Dad”
Medium:  Acrylic on Canvas

Congressman Higgins standing with Brandon Borzynski

2nd Runner-up
Name:  Roisin Lynch
School:  Mount Mercy Academy

Title:  “Duckie”
Medium: Acrylic

Congressman Higgins standing with Roisin Lynch

3rd Runner-up
Name:  Pawsbai Lai
School:  Middle Early College High School

Title:  “Self Portrait”
Medium: Graphite on Paper

Congressman Higgins standing with Pawsbai Lai

Best of Western New York 
Name:  Cecelia Favorito
School:  City Honors High School
Title:  “Industrial First Ward of Buffalo”
Medium:  Linoleum Print

Congressman Higgins standing with Cecelia Favorito

Online Competition – People’s Choice Award
Name:  Roisin Lynch   
School: Mount Mercy Academy     
Title: “Duckie”   
Medium:  Acrylic


Art submissions from high school students throughout the district were on display in a local art show held in the lobby of the Larkin at Exchange Building. Congressman Higgins hosted a ceremony for teachers, students and their families where the top winners were announced.  The public was also invited to vote for their favorite piece through an online gallery featuring the students’ work.


Judges for the competition included: Leslie Zemsky, a local artist, Larkin District Director of Fun and past President of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Board of Directors; Kayla Zemsky, a member of the Larkin Development creative department with several years of experience in the New York City art scene including work at the Whitney Museum of American Art; and Caroline Barry, local artist and Senior Marketing Consultant at Key Bank.