Jefferson County student wins congressional art competition

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — A freshman at Center Point High School in Jefferson County has been awarded first place in the Congressional Art Competition for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

Demetrius Hill’s piece “Art and Activism: Stop Taking Our Fur” was among 14 submissions from talented high school students across the district.

“This year’s winner, Demetrius Hill, did a wonderful job of creating a piece that not only captured this year’s theme, ‘Imagine Alabama – Dreaming the Unthinkable,’ but also served as a powerful political statement,” Rep. Terri Sewell said in a statement. “His piece truly speaks to the power of our youth and their dedication to activism.”

“It is a great honor that I have placed first in this contest. I didn’t expect to win or even place at such a high rank,” Hill said. “What inspired me for this piece is my love of bears and how I thought it is bad that they are sometimes killed in order to become a rug for someone’s house. I decided to draw a bear protesting against these events and that is also how I came up with the name ‘Stop Taking Our Fur’.”

Hill’s artwork will be matted, framed and displayed in the Cannon Tunnel in Washington, D.C. for one year. He and a guardian will receive round-trip airfare to Washington to attend the National Congressional Art Competition Reception. 

Contingent upon enrolling, Savannah College of Art and Design will award Hill a scholarship of $12,000.

“I am so honored and proud as his teacher that Demetrius’ artwork has received the first-place,” said Leah Hamel, visual arts teacher at Center Point High School. “Center Point High School is so proud of Demetrius, and we look forward to being a part of his educational growth over the next few years of his high school career.”

The other students that placed were: 

  • Second Place- KB Hawkins, ninth grader at McAdory High School in McCalla, Alabama.
  • Third Place- Kursty Robinson, twelfth grader at Thomasville High School in Thomasville, Alabama. 
  • Honorable Mention- JinWoo Brian Jeong, ninth grader at Northridge High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

“Thank you so much for this honor of having my art on display in the U.S. Capitol Building and for the scholarship!” Hill said. “I can’t wait to face my fear of heights and fly on a plane for the first time ever when I come to Washington D.C. for the show!”

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