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May 6, 2014

Niskayuna High School student wins Congressional Art Competition

Ninth time in 16 years a Niskayuna Art student has taken the honor

Click an image to open it in a larger window.
"Manufacturer's Palace," Yahor Pryshchep
picture from the reception
From left, Congressman Paul Tonko's assistant, Colleen Williams; Congressman Tonko; Yahor Pryshchep; Niskayuna art teacher Melissa Leach; and Yahor's dad, Sergy Pryshchep.

Congressman Paul Tonko announced this week that Niskayuna High School Senior Yahor Pryshchep has won the 2014 Congressional Art Competition for the 20th Congressional District of New York. Pryshchep's piece, entitled "Manufacturer's Palace," was judged to be the best out of 46 unique entries from 18 different schools in the Capital Region.

The artwork was displayed during a reception on May 2 at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, where it will be on display through May 8th. After that, it will be shipped to Washington, D.C. to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for the next year.

"Congratulations to Yahor for his outstanding work, and to all the students who took part in the competition," said Congressman Tonko. "Creative expression through the arts is an important part of the learning process and allows students to exercise their imagination. I am proud to see so many wonderful submissions and to see this competition continue to grow over the years."

The artwork was judged by Claire Sherwood and Theresa Van Duyne at the Friday reception in Troy. Sherwood is currently the Artist in Residence for The Arts Center of the Capitol Region and Van Duyne owns a local business where she features the work of local artists.

The Congressional Art Competition started in 1982 as an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. This marks the fourth year Congressman Tonko has hosted a reception for the event. More than 650,000 high school students have participated in the nationwide competition.

This is the ninth time that Niskayuna students have receive this honor in the last 16 years. (Previous winners were in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004-2006, 2008, and 2010.)

It marks the first time that a student of high school art teacher Mrs. Melissa Leach has taken the honor.