Maui High School student wins Second Congressional Art Competition
Art created by Cailyn Omuro from Maui High School was selected as the winner of the US House of Representatives Artistic Discovery Contest. Cailyn’s masterpiece will hang in the US Capitol in the Cannon tunnel on display for Members of Congress and tens of thousands of visitors to see.
The selection was announced during a Saturday ceremony on Oʻahu, hosted by US Representative Jill Tokuda (HI-02). The high school art competition is held in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories to showcase artistic talents. A panel of three local artists selected the Hawaiʻi winner.
Cailyn’s artwork is titled Hanagasa Waraba and the medium is colored pencil. Cailyn shared the significance of Hanagasa Waraba:
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“Waraba means “child” and Hanagasa is a flower hat worn traditionally by female Okinawan dancers.
However, in this piece, I chose to portray the wearer as the feminine version of a boy in order to illustrate the struggle with sexuality and gender that is an integral part of society.
There is a stigma associated with discussion about gender and sexuality.ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD
By including the illustration of magpies, I tried to showcase the subjectiveness of stigma. In Western culture, the magpie is a symbol of bad luck, but in Eastern Asian culture, it is just the opposite. The duality of the magpie’s symbolism mirrors the juxtaposing impact of the boy in the Hangasa.
I hope that with this piece, I can make a small contribution to breaking the silence effect of the stigma on this topic.”
Tokuda also announced that the two finalists will have their art featured in her offices in Washington, D.C. and Hawaiʻi on a rotating exhibit so visitors to her offices can see the works of art.
The top two high school finalists from the Second Congressional District are:
- Lia Kuo, Hilo High School, finalist
- Tiffany Castillo, Leilehua High School, finalist.