An online gallery of 43 works of art from students across Rhode Island can be found here

WARWICK, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced the winners of his 2024 High School Art Competition to celebrate student artists across the Ocean State. Cosponsored by the Rhode Island Art Education Association (RIAEA), the contest features artwork from students hailing from 18 schools across Rhode Island. Each school submitted up to three works of art from three different students.

The winning works of art are on exhibit at the Warwick Mall from April 29 through May 5.  This year’s winners were chosen by a panel of local judges that included Marta V. Martinez of Rhode Island Latino Arts, David DePetrillo of the Providence Art Club, and Berge Zobian from Gallery Z, Inc.

Zachary Leone, a junior from Cranston West High School, won this year’s top prize with his work “In Loving Memory.” This is Leone’s second consecutive year being recognized in Senator Reed’s art competition. Last year, he received an honorable mention for his work entitled “All the Voices.”

Willow Hauver, a junior from North Kingstown High School, and Elina Sun, a junior from Rocky Hill Country Road Day School, earned second and third place respectively. Hauver’s piece, “Sichi-Go-San,” was created using charcoal and colored pencil. Sun’s piece, “Color Theory Practice (Self-Portrait),” was created with oil paint.

All three winners will receive a ribbon and custom framing of their work by Providence Picture Frame and Dryden Gallery of North Providence.

“I want to congratulate Zachary, Willow, Elina, and all of these students for their outstanding work.  I am really impressed by this year’s submissions and proud to showcase the talents of these young artists.  Having the opportunity to take grade-school art classes at RISD inspired me.  And I was never as creative or artistically gifted as these students,” said Senator Reed.  “In addition to showcasing young artists, this event is also a great opportunity to thank dedicated art teachers who encourage, inspire, and uplift young artists – cheering them onwards and encouraging them to express themselves through art and appreciate the work of others.  I am so grateful to all the educators and volunteers who make this annual celebration of the arts and aspiring artists possible.”

Senator Reed will host a special reception for all participating students, art teachers, school officials, and judges at the Warwick Mall on Sunday, May 5 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Honorable Mention awards were given to four students: Elmer Poz Benito, a sophomore from Hope High School; Jacqueline Blair, a senior from North Kingstown High School; Sophie Ashman, a senior from Lincoln High School; and Rosha Gheshm, a junior from Narragansett High School.

Brandon Thorpe, a junior from Chariho Regional High School was chosen as “Senator Reed Staff Pick” for his work “The Tyranny of Avarice.”

Senator Reed is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and sits on the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).