Ocean Art Gallery hosts Congressional Art Competition

"Medley" painting is heading to Washington D.C.

  • By
  • | 5:32 p.m. April 11, 2016
'It feels incredible and surreal,' said Daria Hughes .
'It feels incredible and surreal,' said Daria Hughes .
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In 1982, Congress created the Congressional Art Competition to give high school students from each district a way to showcase their artwork. This year, the Congressional Art Competition winner from Florida 6th Congressional District was announced April 10 at the Ocean Art Gallery in Flagler Beach.

This year’s contest started with about 60 submitted pieces from the district, which encompasses half of Volusia County and all of St. Johns and Flagler counties. The entries were narrowed down to 10 through voting on the Facebook page of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, FL-6. DeSantis attended the event in order to present the certificates and name the winner.

The focal point of the gallery featured the 10 final pieces, displayed on easels in a large circle in the center of the main room.

Gallery owner Frank Gromling selected three local judges to choose a finalist. The judges were Art LaMay, a gallery owner; Kim Carney, Flagler Beach Commissioner; and Charles Shaefer, an artist within the gallery and the director of Art of the Gardens at Epcot. This was the gallery’s second year hosting the finalists.  

This year’s winner was Daria Hughes, a sophomore from Seabreeze High School. “It feels incredible and surreal,” she said, knowing her artwork will be on display in D.C. Hughes used watercolor paint to create her piece “Medley.” Her winning piece, a still life of flowers, is much different from what she refers to as her “go-to” paintings of characters. Hughes’ painting will be one of 434 student pieces that will be hung in the tunnel that connects the Capitol Building to the Office Building.  

DeSantis urged students to continue creating and to pursue their artistic talent as far as it will take them.  


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