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Cane Bay High art students have clean sweep in Congressional Art Competition

Published on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

artwork by david loa saldana   artwork by alyssia scaggs   artwork by lillian rush

"Corazón de Nopal" by David Loa Saldana, "Sisters" by Alyssia Scaggs and "Unspeakable" by Lillian Rush

Cane Bay High art students had a clean sweep of the 2020 Congressional Art Competition.

The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide high school art competition that is held each year for every congressional district. Rep. Joe Cunningham announced the winners on June 10.

First place went to graduating senior David Loa Saldana for his submission called “corazón de Nopal.” His artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol.

The two runners-up were “The Sisters” by Alyssia Scaggs and “Unspeakable” by Lillian Rush. Both are also graduating seniors. Their pieces will be displayed in the district’s Beaufort and Mt. Pleasant Offices.

Saldana’s piece is all in graphite. Saldana said he enjoys creating pieces that tie into his Mexican culture. He plans to go to Trident Tech after high school and maybe transfer to the University of South Carolina.

Saldana enjoys drawing and is considering architecture or civil engineering as possible career paths. He said he received a lot of support from Cane Bay High art teachers Shannon Hopkins and Brian Lariviere during his time in high school.

“Those two have been my biggest supporters throughout all of high school,” he said.

Scaggs said her piece mainly comes from her trying to spread a message about loving all cultures, races and colors – “and also, for the fact that you should want to embrace your culture instead of hiding it.”

Scaggs recalled a lesson from her 10th grade English class that focused on racism, and disputed the often-used phrase “America’s like a melting pot.” Her teacher said that is not really the case because in a melting pot, everything melts into one thing, so America is more of like a fruit salad – a pot full of different items.

“We’re all different but all together we have our own different aspects to us,” Scaggs said.

Rush said the inspiration behind her piece was that she really wanted to try something with a lot of detail. She used ink, hand sanitizer and black paint for her artwork.

She said it felt good to place in the competition.

“I know the winner, David, so I was glad he got first,” she said.

Rush also named Hopkins as a big supporter. She is heading to Trident Tech and plans to study graphic design and advertising, and hopefully merge the two.

See story by ABC News 4:

Monica Kreber