Masterclass Mavens: Their Works to be Prominently Displayed Locally at U.S. Capitol

To the winners, go the spoils!

Chamblee High School 11th grader Margaret McNally is on her way to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, after winning the Fourth District 2023 Congressional Art Competition.

U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson announced Margret as the winner on a surprise visit to Chamblee High School on May 5. Margaret’s piece, Daydream, took first place out of more than 40 submissions in the Fourth Congressional District. The prize comes with two round-trip airline tickets to Washington, DC, for an art reception and hotel accommodation. Daydream will be displayed in the Capitol, where it will hang with other award winners nationwide for a year.

“It feels amazing,” Margaret said about winning the competition.

Margaret said her piece is an ode to her grandmother. It took her 40 to 50 hours to complete, and she explained how she incorporated a technique she developed called “chromatic aberration.”

“I took the undertones of the skin and really exaggerated them. You can barely see the neutral tones of the skin,” she said. “I wanted to highlight that every skin is beautiful regardless of age or color. What I think makes skin beautiful is the colors that come out from underneath and not just the boring neutral tones you see.”

Two other Chamblee HS students also placed in the top four winners of the competition. Maggie Council’s piece, I of the Hurricane, placed second, and Emily Sharpe finished fourth with her piece, Folklore With Love. Maggie’s artwork will be displayed in Congressman Johnson’s Washington, D.C. office, and Emily’s artwork will hang in Congressman Johnson’s district office in Decatur. They also received gift cards.

“Every year, I’m impressed with all of our students’ creativity and artwork,” Rep. Johnson said. “It’s one of my favorite district events of the year. And this year was no exception. I want to thank every student, their parents, art teachers, and judges for participating this year.”