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Thomas Jefferson HSST Sophomore William Zhang’s “Hope and Peace” Wins VA-8 Congressional Art Competition, Will Hang In U.S. Capitol

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today announced that William Zhang, a sophomore at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, won the Congressional Art Competition in Virginia’s 8th District with his work “Hope and Peace” (high resolution version here). A panel of art educators from the National Art Education Association chose the digital painting from dozens of works by Northern Virginia student artists.

Zhang wrote that his digital painting “depicts the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine.” The piece will hang in the Capitol along with other winners of the Congressional Art Competition from across the country.

“William Zhang’s ‘Hope and Peace’ is a phenomenal work of art that also reflects the empathy I and many others in Northern Virginia feel for Ukrainians,” said Beyer. “This evocative digital painting depicts a deeply sad event, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has cost many thousands of lives, destroyed homes and workplaces, and disrupted the livelihoods of millions more. But the imagery is bright and hopeful, with traditional symbols of peace, which is the outcome we hope to see, and I believe that visitors to the Capitol will find the piece moving. I thank and congratulate William for his thought-provoking submission, and thank the other young artists who competed in the Congressional Art Competition.”

Previous winners of the Congressional Art Competition include 2021 winner Charlie Williams and 2020 winner Kidus Sebil, both from Wakefield High School. The Congressional Institute and Architect of the Capitol are expected to announce the timeline and logistics for art display in the Cannon Tunnel soon.