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Rochelle student wins 16th District art contest

40 entries most Kinzinger's office has received

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, picked a Rochelle High School student as the winner of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition.

Mario Rocha won with his piece “Promise Me,” using pen. It was selected out of 40 art submissions — the most participation for Kinzinger’s office has had for the contest.

As the winning piece, “Promise Me” will be displayed in Washington, D.C., in the halls of the U.S. Capitol for one year. The three honorable mention winners will have their artwork displayed in Kinzinger’s district offices in Ottawa, Rockford and Watseka.

They are “Don’t Tap the Glass,” a watercolor by Lena Bauman, of Polo, which will be displayed in Ottawa; “Back to My Roots,” a color pencil piece by Alva Valle, of Rochelle, which will be in Rockford; and “Santorini,” a painting by Samantha Sipe, of Pontiac, which will go up in Watseka.

“I’m proud to congratulate Mario and our honorable mentions — we’re fortunate to have your artwork adorn our walls,” Kinzinger said. “Special thank you to everyone who participated this year for sending in such impressive artwork. We have great talent in the 16th District, and I’m grateful to each student who shared their talent with us this year.”

Brooke Pentecost, of Ottawa, won last year’s competition.

Go to to view all the 2018 entries.

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