Local students artists win in Kelly's Congressional Art Competition

May 3—SHARON — Mercer High School senior Braiden Douds, winner of the Congressional Art Competition hosted by Hope Center for Arts and Technology in Sharon, will follow her dream by studying fine arts at Edinboro University.

Douds' winning painting depicts her two best friends at Dave & Buster's playing a video game.

"I'm honored," said Braiden, 18, Mercer. "It means a lot to me."

The Congressional Art Competition is held in the 435 U.S. House districts across the United States. The Pennsylvania 16th District contest was presented by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R, Pa-16, and includes schools from his district.

Schools from Mercer County that took part in the show included Grove City, Hickory, HopeCAT, Mercer and Sharpsville.

The first place runner-up was Jo Fernandez-Jenkins of Seneca Valley High School and the second place runner-up was Gavin Hartle of Sharpsville High School.

In February, Kelly announced the annual competition, which has been held for 12 years for all high school students living in Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District.

Kelly announced the winners and unveiled the art during a ceremony Friday at HopeCAT.

The winning artwork will be displayed in the Cannon House Office Building Tunnel in the U.S. Capitol complex for 11 months.

The other artwork is on display in HopeCAT for the public to view.

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at mklaric@sharonherald.com