In May, Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici announced that Clara Johnson, a senior at Beaverton High School, won the 2021 Congressional Art Competition for Oregon’s First Congressional District. Clara’s piece is titled Xenophobia. “I hoped to express the position such a situation puts individuals and whole communities into: feelings of isolation, alienation, fear and hurt,” says Clara. “I was hoping to express how wrong and damaging this type of hatred is and raise awareness of it.”

“The artwork submitted to the Congressional Art Competition each year is breathtaking and thought-provoking,” says Congresswoman Bonamici. “I see a bright future for Oregon’s youth, and that future is on display with this piece.”

Clara’s artwork will be on exhibit at the U.S. Capitol Building for the next year. And two other students were awarded honorable mentions: Diane Choi and River Rain, also seniors at Beaverton High School.  “Knowing [my piece] would be hung in the Capitol as a kind of statement against such hatred and fear like xenophobia, specifically after a year with large spikes in Asian hate crimes, has motivated me even more to continue to make such artistic statements,” says Clara.

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Denise Castañon
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