Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) announced that Mira Wang of Cherry Hill has won the 2022 Congressional Art Competition for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District.
Mira, a 9th grader at Cherry Hill High School East, titled her winning painting “Helping Hands.” The acrylic painting shows an elderly woman being helped by two siblings, with the sister holding the woman’s arm and the little brother carrying her groceries through the snow.
“Mira’s painting captures a small moment of kindness that we could use a bit more of today,” said Congressman Norcross. “The pandemic has shown us the importance of helping each other out, of looking after those who need a little extra help, and it’s great that Mira made kindness to others the centerpiece of her art. I’m proud to showcase that message by hanging this painting in the U.S. Capitol on behalf of Mira and the good people of New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District.”
“I honestly did not expect to be nominated,” said Mira Wang. “I wanted my painting to convey the overall feeling of community, as well as the care and respect for elders during the pandemic… I witness these everyday occurrences of kindness and thoughtfulness toward strangers, my elderly neighbor, and my grandparents, and this motivates me to reach out to other people in need. I feel very honored to have it displayed in the Capitol.”
Mr. John Jay Shing, an independent artist based in Cherry Hill and Mira’s art teacher, was excited for his student and played a key role in submitting her painting, having personally delivered the painting to Congressman Norcross’s Cherry Hill office. He described Mira as “a happy girl and a good learner.”
“Initially, her idea was just abstractly to put young students helping others as she heard about neighbors and the township helping seniors after a big snowstorm,” said Mr. Shing. “In search of composition, she had worked on some thumbnail sketches to try it out.”
After discussions between the teacher and student, Mira’s composition began to take its final form, resulting in the snowscape and figures depicted in “Helping Hands.”
Besides being hardworking in her studies at school and active in art class, Mira is a member of the school cross country team and plays saxophone in the school jazz band.
All student artists who submitted artwork for the competition will be honored by Norcross with an official Congressional certificate.
“The students of South Jersey never cease to impress me,” added Congressman Norcross. “Not even COVID-19 could stop our talented kids from creating incredible art.”