• The San Juan Daily Star

Student from Guánica is PR winner at US Congress art competition

“United We Stand” by Esteban M. Medina Aguilera

By John McPhaul

The annual art competition in the United States Congress, the Artistic Discovery Contest, was held last week, where Puerto Rico’s winner turned out to be young Guánica resident Esteban M. Medina Aguilera, with his work “United We Stand.”

Medina Aguilera, a senior at Ernesto Ramos Antonini Specialized School of Fine Arts in Yauco, said his source of inspiration for the work was the unity in his community after the earthquakes in southern Puerto Rico in January 2020.

“The flag represents all the people who helped and donated supplies,” the young artist said. “The light represents hope and the hand symbolizes the help provided by the volunteers. Flowers and birds symbolize natural beauty and the promise of better times.”

The work was created using colored pencils and markers.

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón pointed out in a written statement that the competition has been going on since 1982 and a winner is chosen from each congressional district to exhibit his or her work in Congress and participate in the gala in Washington, D.C.

“This contest allows diversity to stand out, both in topics and in media,” the resident commissioner said. “It gives a letter of introduction to Puerto Rico so that our young people shine throughout the nation. As a fan and collector of Puerto Rican art, I see in the promotion of new young artists the construction of a future for our arts and our culture in general. A living culture that is nurtured and evolves with skills like these.”

Every year the resident commissioner celebrates the event, where the winner will have their work exhibited for a year in the Cannon tunnel of the U.S. Capitol and Southwest Airlines will sponsor the round trip tickets for the students to attend the national reception. The date of the reception is yet to be announced, but it is likely to be at the end of June.

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