New York, NY: Samiya Fagun, a Bangladeshi student at Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens, has been crowned the winner of the fourth annual Congressional District Art Contest, known locally as Meng art contest after U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). Meng announced April 25 that this year’s contest marked the first time that a student of Bangladeshi descent has won the competition.
A total of 46 students – including several others of South Asian descent – from 13 high schools participated in the contest. Meng presented all of them with special certificates of Congressional recognition. More than 650,000 high school students throughout the United States have participated since the competition began in 1982.
The contest, which consisted of entries from Queens high school students, is part of “An Artistic Discovery”, the national art contest sponsored each year by the House of Representatives that showcases the artwork of all Congressional district art contest winners from across the nation.
Beginning this June, Fagun’s winning artwork – along with the winning pieces from art contests in Congressional districts throughout the United States – will be displayed for one year in the historic Cannon Tunnel, a heavily-traveled corridor of the United States Capitol.
Fagun, along with one of her parents, will also be awarded round-trip airplane tickets to Washington, D.C. – courtesy of Southwest Airlines – to join Meng at the opening ceremonies of the national art competition.
The ceremony scheduled for June takes place on Capitol Hill and will recognize Fagun’s exceptional artistic talents as well as those of all the other young artists from around the country. Fagun, 18, and the winners from each Congressional district art contest will also be eligible for a scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. A resident of Elmhurst, Fagun won the competition for her watercolor drawing entitled “Moments of Life.” She emigrated to the U.S. from Dhaka three years ago. She plans to attend City College of New York in the fall and may pursue a major in art.