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Laguna Beach

Student winners of Congressional Art Competition announced, LBHS student earns second place


On Monday evening, April 22, student winners of the 2019 Artistic Discovery Congressional Art Competition were celebrated during a private reception and awards ceremony held at Laguna Art Museum.

Spearheaded by Congressman Harley Rouda, representing CA District 48, this is the first time our district is participating in the nationwide contest that takes place each spring. Open to students in grades 9-12, the competition recognizes and encourages artistic talent in youth throughout the nation. Artwork was submitted in the following categories: painting (oils, acrylic or watercolor); drawing (pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and marker); collage (two-dimensional); print (lithograph, silkscreen or block); mixed media (use of two or more mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor); computer-generated art; and photography.

Student winners of three students

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Photos by Lana Johnson

(L-R) Master of Ceremonies Michele Gile, KCAL/CBS TV, with winning students Faith Riehm (third place), Charles Besso (second place), and Remi Frolichman (first place)

The winning students are:

First Place – Remi Frolichman, a student at the Orange Country School of the Arts, for her painting, Firenze. She received a prize of $750, a Certificate of Recognition, and a trip for two to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. this June, where her artwork will be on display along with all the other first place student winners, representing their congressional district from throughout the country.

Second Place – Charles Besso, a student at Laguna Beach High School, for his mixed media art (colored pencil with digital media), Slumber Party. He received a prize of $100 and a Certificate of Recognition.

Third Place – Faith Riehm, a student at Edison High School, for her computer-generated art piece, The Painter of Flowers. She received a prize of $50 and a Certificate of Recognition.

Congressman Rouda, along with his wife, Kaira, presented the awards. Master of Ceremonies was KCAL 9/CBS 2 television reporter Michele Gile.

Student winners of Roudas

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(L-R) Congressman Harley Rouda, Beth Phillips, founder and executive director of Furnishing Hope, and Kaira Rouda

The winning art was chosen from a field of 41 entries, submitted by students throughout CA-48 who attend Laguna Beach, Newport Harbor, Huntington Beach, Edison, Fountain Valley, Aliso Niguel, Westminster, La Quinta, Pacific Coast, Coast, Orange County School of the Arts, and Drakain Academy. All participating students, their art teachers, and families were invited to the Museum reception to view their art being displayed at the Museum, and find out who were the winning artists.

Judges included Malcolm Warner, executive director of the Laguna Art Museum; Jeannie Denholm, gallery owner of SCAPE in Corona del Mar; and Ed Fosmire, professor of art at Santa Ana College.

Cash prizes were sponsored by AT&T, represented by Richard Porras, assistant vice president, external affairs, and supported by Richard Stein, executive director of Arts Orange County.

Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments were coordinated by Kathleen Abel, Museum board member and donated by the MacGillivray, Robbins, and Keller families.

Congressman Rouda invited all of the participating students to come and display their art at his office.

Prior to hanging on the Museum’s walls, the artwork was showcased at the gallery in Furnishing Hope (FH) during the week of April 16. Furnishing Hope provides home furnishings and supplies for families as they transition into independent living, reaching out to our wounded service heroes and women with children. All proceeds from FH, with their flagship retail store in Westciff Plaza, Newport Beach, go to serve families in need.

For additional information on the CA-48 Congressional Art Competition, visit

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