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Three awards go to Downey student artists in the ‘2021 Art Competition’

There’s Hope‘, second place for Jayden Arana.


U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) announced the winners of the 28th Annual Lucille Roybal-Allard Student Art Competition. The competition accepts submissions from high school student artists who live in the 40th District.

76 talented student artists submitted their works to this year’s competition, and Rep. Roybal-Allard announced the winners on Saturday 12, in a virtual ceremony.

Each year, it’s an honor and a joy to celebrate the work of our student artists at my annual art competition,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard. “Each entry is worthy of recognition and appreciation, and we are grateful to all participants for their willingness to express themselves through art and share their talent with our communities. To every one of them, I offer my most sincere appreciation and congratulations“.
This is my favorite event of the year, and I had hoped that by this time the COVID-19 pandemic would be behind us so we would once again be able to celebrate in person with food and music at the Citadel,” Roybal-Allard continued. “I hope this will be our last virtual awards ceremony, because I always enjoy meeting student artists in person, seeing their artwork displayed at the Citadel, and seeing the proud smiles on their parents’ faces.

This year’s first place winner was Aubrey Alcoy, a senior at St. Pius X – St. Matthias Academy, for her piece Violence Against Women, created with graphite pencils and gouache watercolor paint on stretched canvas. Aubrey’s instructor is Gabriela Arreola. 

Jadyen Arana, a senior at Downey High School, won second place for her work There’s Hope, created with watercolor, pen, newspaper, and acrylic paints. Jayden’s instructor is Darrelle Nikaj.

Ruben Cantoran, a junior at Maywood Center for Enriched Studies, won third place for his work Confines, created with Copic sketch markers, micron fine liner, and color pencilRuben’s instructor is Sonia Hanson. 

A Nostalgic Fantasy ‘, people’s choice award Adara Gonzales.

Melody Benitez, a junior at Bellflower High School, won an honorable mention for her work Looking For Nature, created with a cell phone and the Snapseed app. Her instructor is Haide Gamboa.

Litzy Loza, a junior at Downey High School, also received an honorable mention for her work Guidance, created with acrylic paints, color pencils, lead pencil, ink pens, watercolors, gel pens, sharpies, and scrap pieces of printed texts. Litzy’s instrutor is Yvette Puente.
The people’s choice award winner was Adara Gonzales, also a junior at Downey High School and student of Yvette Puente, for her work A Nostalgic Fantasy.

All 76 entries submitted for the art competition were judged on originality, technical skill, artistic presentation, and the use of color and contrast.
For winning first place, Aubrey Alcoy will receive a $1,000 scholarship, a $200 gift card for art supplies, a trip to Washington, DC, for herself and a parent to attend the Congressional Art Institute’s National Exhibit Opening* and $500 for travel expenses. Aubrey will have her entry displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year, while the other winning students will have their artwork displayed in Rep. Roybal-Allard’s District Office in Commerce.

Additionally, 500 posters featuring Aubrey’s Violence Against Women will be printed and copies will be distributed to schools and community organizations throughout the 40th Congressional District to inspire other young artists to participate in next year’s competition. 

Jadyen Arana will receive a $750 scholarship and a $175 gift card for art supplies. Ruben Cantoran will receive a $500 scholarship and a $150 gift card for art supplies. 

Guidance ‘, honorable mention for Litzy Loza.

Melody Benitez, Litzy Loza, and Adara Gonzalez will each receive a $250 scholarship and a $125 gift card for art supplies. Each winner’s school will receive a gift card ranging from $200 to $500 to purchase supplies to advance their art program. Schools with five or more entries will receive a $100 gift card for art supplies.

*Note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the first place prize trip to Washington, DC is contingent on the Capitol complex’s policies on reopening to the public this fall and whether the Congressional Art Institute hosts its annual opening event.