Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Names Winner of 2015 Congressional Art Competition

Laredo High School Student Erika Escamilla Was Chosen Out of 92 Submissions

f t # e
LAREDO, Texas, April 25, 2015 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639) | comments
Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) announced Erika Escamilla, a senior at United High in Laredo, as the winner of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition for Texas’ 28th congressional district. Her winning entry is a beautiful pencil portrait of her grandmother entitled “Mi Abuela,” (my grandmother).

The Congressional Art Competition gives the nation’s young artists the opportunity to compete to display their work in the United States Capitol Building. Each member of Congress has the opportunity to host a local competition among high school students and select the winning entry.  Escamilla’s piece was chosen out of 92 submissions by high school students from all over Texas’ 28th congressional district, which spans from southeast San Antonio to Laredo and on to Mission, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley.


Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) on Friday announced United High School senior Erika Escamilla as the winner of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition for Texas Congressional District 28. (From left to right are Roberto J. Santos, Superintendent for United I.S.D.; Laura R. Salido, art teacher at United High; Congressman Henry Cuellar; Erika Escamilla, United High senior; and Alberto Aleman, Jr., Principal of United High School.

“I congratulate Ms. Escamilla on her winning art piece, a stunning portrait of her grandmother. There were so many great submissions this year and great examples of talent in District 28,” said Cuellar. “I look forward to welcoming Ms. Escamilla to Washington, D.C. and hope she continues to develop her creativity and talents to achieve success in her career.”

“Congratulations to Erika Escamilla, winner of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition sponsored by the Honorable Congressman Henry Cuellar,” said Alberto Aleman, Jr., principle of United High School. “Erika is a senior at United High School. She is an art student in Mrs. Laura Salido’s art class. We are very proud of Erika for winning this prestigious competition. Her talents, dedication to her studies, excellent character and continuous improvement to her artistic skills will bring Erika continued success in all her endeavors.”

“Ever since she was a child, Erika has always loved to draw,” said Erika Elizondo, mother of Erika Escamilla. “She has never taken any formal art classes except for the one this semester with her teacher, Ms. Salido. She has a natural talent and is very determined in all her school subjects. She has won several art competitions. We thank Congressman Cuellar for this important opportunity.”

“It is with great honor and a pleasure to have been Erika Escamilla’s Art Teacher,” said Laura R. Salido, art teacher at United High School. “We, here at United High School are so proud of all of Erika’s accomplishments. The word that most exemplifies Ms. Escamilla is altruistic. Erica is good-natured and does for everyone without thinking of herself. Her studies, as well as her family, always come first. She is hard working, so well-liked by her peers, dedicated, friendly, and has no limits to what she can accomplish.”

As the winner of the art competition, Escamilla is invited to fly to Washington, D.C., courtesy of Southwest Airlines, in late June to attend an awards ceremony and reception where her artwork will be displayed. She will have the opportunity to spend time with Congressman Cuellar and tour our nation’s capital to get a first-hand experience of what happens in Congress.

First launched in 1982, this year marks the 33th anniversary of the Congressional Art Competition. Since its inauguration, thousands of contests have been held around the country.  Throughout the history of the competition, more than 650,000 high school students have been involved in the program.

For more information, visit

f t # e
Tags: Education