Student artwork showcased at Dalton State College

Student artwork showcased at Dalton State College

February 14th, 2012 by Perla Trevizo in News

Melissa Whitesell, reference and instructional librarian with Dalton State College, is photographed with an exhibit of art work from high school students in the 9th Congressional District on display at the Derrell C. Roberts Library on campus. Each year members of the U.S. House of Representatives sponsor a nationwide high school art competition, and the winner from each district gets to travel to Washington and have their artwork displayed on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.


  • What: 9th Congressional District Art Contest exhibit

  • Where: Derrell C. Roberts Library, Dalton State College, 650 College Drive

  • When: 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 1-7 p.m. Sunday; the exhibit runs through March 14.


Since it began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated in the art contest.

Dalton State's library has become the temporary home to artwork from high school students across the region.

The North Georgia college is the site of this year's Congressional Art Contest exhibit, sponsored by Georgia's 9th Congressional District Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga.

Of the 10 submissions of original work Dalton State College received, one will be selected to hang in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to show off the artistic talents of high schoolers in North Georgia," Graves said in an email. "I look forward to seeing the wonderful works of art they have created."

Alison Parker is a junior at Dalton High School and never had entered a contest before, but the possibility of having one of her pieces hanging in the U.S. Capitol caught her attention.

"Just the idea of having something that I created where people can see it and enjoy [it]" excited her, she said.

The 17-year-old, who has been painting since she was in sixth grade, submitted what she believes is the best piece she has done so far -- an oil painting of cresting ocean waves in a cove with yellow flowers in the foreground.

Last year, the competition was held at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega

For Dalton State, the competition is another way to reach out to the community, said Lydia Knight, director of the Derrell C. Roberts Library.

"[While] we already display some of our students' art, it is nice to have some of our high school students' art displayed as well," she said.

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district, according to its website.

Each entry must be original in concept, design and execution.

On March 14, Dalton State will hold a reception with Graves to announce the winner selected by a panel that includes people from the Creative Arts Guild and Dalton State faculty, Knight said.

Winners also are recognized at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., and their work displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel that runs from the Cannon House Office Building to the U.S. Capitol.

Contact staff writer Perla Trevizo at or 423-757-6578. Follow her on Twitter at