Photos by Margie Clark of Congressman Buck McKeon's office. For a gallery of photos from the event by Will Davison, click here .
Nearly two dozen young artists made a bid to be featured in a special gallery in our nation’s Capitol. One lucky Valencia High School student’s work made it.
In this year’s Congressional Art Competition, Tyler Recchia’s creation “Kayla’s Dream” will represent the 25th District and hang in the prestigious gallery in the Cannon Tunnel, which legislators traverse on a daily basis, between their offices and the Capitol building.
Don't miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox 
Recchia, whose parents are both artists, and whose brother, Jordan, won the honor in 2006, hopes to be a designer of products or architecture in the future.
Tyler was also a finalist in the 2010 competition.
He was joined by 20 other hopefuls who had submitted works in a variety of mediums, some oil, some pastels, some photography, some multimedia, in the competition that subject-wise was open-ended.
The subject of Tyler’s work is one of his fellow students at Valencia High, whose wisdom Recchia admires.
“I know her as wise and down to earth,” he explained to the judges. “I wanted to capture her dream of flying with owls and wanted to dig into her mind.”
The work is a vibrantly-colored oil paint glaze collage on wood with touches of pen and ink depicting a young teenage girl, her face set on a backdrop of wooden panels featuring images of owls symbolizing her wisdom.
The work will be featured, along with that of four runners-up, on an upcoming phone book. The original painting will travel to Washington D.C., where Recchia and his parents will be invited to a gala unveiling ceremony on June 22. It will remain on display until May 2012.
The works will also be on display (a print will be made of Recchia’s original) where the judging took place at Fast Frame in Valencia until the end of May, when they will become part of a traveling exhibit that will be on display at Westfield Valencia Town Center and College of the Canyons and City Hall.
The runners-up include (in no particular order):
“California Dreamer,” a colored-pencil rendering of a young boy with a surfboard gazing at the ocean, by Lancaster homeschooled student Elizabeth Patz.
“Love Once Forgotten,” a bold-colored watercolor with vibrant reds depicting a masquerade-style mask surrounded by pearls and flowers by Valencia High junior Lauren Metelitz
“Teenage Wasteland,” a light colored pencil rendering of a teen girl’s face set against a backdrop of newsprint collage alluding to the tribulations of gossip by Valencia High senior Allison Harada, and
“Perseverance Through Trial,” a sienna-colored rendering of a young teenage girl sitting on a chair exhausted after ballet practice by Valencia High junior Skylar Sullivan.
Initiated by members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, the Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide annual art event that allows high school students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to showcase their artistic ability.
Congressman Buck McKeon’s wife, Patricia, is instrumental in seeing that this competition continues, and worked with KHTS co-owner Carl Goldman to revitalize the contest a few years ago. She participated as a judge on Wednesday and said her dedication comes from the hopes that every student excel in the arts, if that is their passion.
Even though he was in Washington tending to the nation’s business, Rep. McKeon endorsed the artistic match.
“Everybody is blessed with some kind of talent,” he said. “Some are great athletes, some are great musicians, some are great speakers some are great cooks and some are great artists. There are limited opportunities with the reduced funding in education, usually in the classes that teach some of the things I mentioned, with the exception of athletics. This (competition) is an opportunity.
“I just think it’s good to encourage young people that enjoy art and give them a chance to compete,” he said. “It’s a good program and we’re happy to be a part of it.”