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Albany Student Wins Congressional Art Contest

Dantasia Thomas’ Artwork Will Be on View for a Year at the U.S. Capitol

Artwork by Dougherty Comprehensive High School junior Dantasia Thomas will be on display at the Capitol for a year starting this summer after she won first place in the Second Congressional District of Georgia in the 2024 Congressional Art Competition.

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, announced the district winners Saturday at an awards reception at the Albany Museum of Art. “Art plays an important role in the life of our community. It conveys a feeling. It shares a story. It opens our eyes─and our hearts─to new perspectives. It binds us and is a testament to our community’s culture and history,” said Congressman Bishop. “We are fortunate to have had so many students participate in this competition. I want to thank our schools, art faculties, community art organizations, museums, and parents who all play such an important role in our students’ lives and helped make this event a success.”

Thomas’ The Antique Woman, a mixed-media drawing of a woman in a mid-20th century style staring to her right with her chin resting on her hand, will be on view in the Cannon Tunnel, which is a major corridor from the House office buildings to the Capitol that has about 80,000 people pass through it every year.

Her artwork will be placed on display this summer, along with those by the other congressional district winners from across the United States. Winners from each participating congressional district will be recognized on June 26 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“We just have some of the brightest, most creative, and most ingenious young people anywhere,” Congressman Bishop said. “I’m always proud to showcase their talents in Washington through this art competition. Every day, I walk through that tunnel at the Capitol and my chest just feels with pride when I walk past the Georgia section and see the artwork by our students, and the artwork by other talented students from across the country. It just makes me proud.”

Thomas, whose art teacher is Samantha Fields, Ed.D., said she has been engaged in art since the fifth grade, and that this was the first major art competition that she has won. When she attends the awards reception in Washington, D.C., on June 26, it also will be her first visit to the nation’s capital.

“I’m very excited. I can’t even believe it; that’s how excited I am,” Thomas said about winning the contest and visiting Washington. “I’m very thankful for winning first place. It’s my first time winning something this big. I’m glad I got to meet the congressman. This whole program was great.”

“I’m very proud,” her mother, Monique Thomas, said. “Extremely so. Words cannot express.”

The AMA partners with Bishop’s office by providing the winning artist and a parent with hotel accommodations near the Washington, D.C., location of the national awards ceremony. Airfare for the winning student and a parent is provided by Southwest Airlines. The AMA also offers a $250 purchase price for the winning artwork.

“The AMA is delighted to be the host of the annual Congressional Art Competition, showcasing the visual art talents of the young people in our own backyard,” Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “We heartily congratulate Ms. Thomas, who deserves this special honor to have her work seen by thousands of people in Washington D.C.”

Four other students, all from Albany, also placed in the 2024 competition for the Second Congressional District of Georgia.

In second place was a graphite drawing of locomotives titled The Powerhouse by Rashaun Hooks, a junior at Monroe High School in Albany. His art teachers are Nakimer Daniels and Abiodun David.

Madelin Vasquez, a senior at Dougherty Comprehensive High School, won third place for Radiant, a mixed media work. Her art teacher is Samantha Fields, Ed.D.

Two honorable mentions also were awarded. Jasmine Mena, a sophomore at Westover High School, received one for Fly By, an acrylic painting in which she depicted a boy levitating above a field of sunflowers. Her art teacher is Taneisha Whatley.

Benjamin Wright Jr., a sophomore at Monroe High School, was recognized for his graphite drawing We the People, which shows four individuals holding newspapers that spell out the word “vote.” His art teachers are Nakimer Daniels and Abiodun David.

During the ceremony, Congressman Bishop thanked the competition judges─Lakeisha Martin, Chloe Hinton, Sidney Pettice, Britny Wray-Watson, and Jermaine Dupree─as well as the Albany Museum of Art, which has been supportive of the competition and its student artists.

Since its inception in 1982, the Congressional Art Competition has seen participation by more than 650,000 high school students across the United States. Sponsored by the Congressional Institute since 2009, the competition celebrates the artistic achievements of the nation’s high school students. In 2023, 434 of the 435 congressional districts participated in the program. Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. You can learn more about the annual student art competition HERE.




The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive in Albany, Ga., adjacent to Albany State University West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Albany Museum of Art is open to the public 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

For more information about the AMA please visit our website, or call 229.439.8400. Be sure to follow the Albany Museum of Art on Facebook and Instagram.

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, presents Dantasia Thomas with the first-place award for the Second Congressional District in the 44th annual Congressional Student Art Competition on Saturday, April 13, at the Albany Museum of Art. The Dougherty Comprehensive High School junior's mixed-media artwork The Antique Woman, shown behind them, will be on display in the Cannon Tunnel at the Capitol for a year, along with works by other first-place winners from participating U.S. Congressional Districts.
Congressman Bishop presents second place to Rashaun "R.J." Hooks.
Congressman Bishop presents third place to Madelin Vasquez.
Congressman Bishop presents honorable mention to Jasmine Mena.
U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, stands with students who participated in the 44th annual Congressional Student Art Competition for the Second Congressional District of Georgia at the awards ceremony on Saturday, April 13, at the Albany Museum of Art. From left are Madelin Vasquez, Dougherty Comprehensive High School, third place; Dantasia Thomas, Dougherty Comprehensive High School, first place; Congressman Bishop, Jasmine Mena, Westover High School, honorable mention; Rashaun Hooks, Monroe High School, second place, and Chancie Brown, Dougherty Comprehensive High School.
Congressman Bishop with students, parents and art teachers at the awards ceremony for the Congressional Art Contest for the Second Congressional District of Georgia.