Democracy Collection Student Art Competition Exhibit

Selected Works

On February 15, 2023, the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies (AIE) office and the National Art Education Association (NAEA) announced the call for artwork for the Democracy Collection Student Art Competition to showcase the artwork of talented middle school and high school student artists ages 13–18 as they explore the theme of democracy through the creation of art. The Art in Embassies Democracy Collection initiative brings art diplomacy for democracy to every hemisphere through artist exchanges, traveling exhibitions, civic engagements, events at cultural institutions, and an outreach program to expand the Art in Embassies’ diplomatic art repository at the service of U.S. diplomats for generations to come.

Out of more than 100 submissions for the competition, 29 works of art were jury-selected for inclusion in a virtual exhibition on NAEA’s website. As a guest judge, artist Shepard Fairey selected three Regional and one Best in Show Winner from the 29 artworks.

Daniel Rivera, a 2023 Berlin High School senior from West Stephentown, NY, was awarded Best in Show for his artwork, Tears of Miss Justice: Mourning a Broken System. He will be honored alongside his art teacher, Samantha Colbert, at the Art in Embassies Art Activations for Democracy event on September 19, 2023, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. Rivera’s artwork will also become a permanent part of the Democracy Collection within the Art in Embassies repository, in which U.S. ambassadors will have a chance to select it for display in their embassies around the globe. 

Artwork by the three regional awardees will be exhibited in the Art in Embassies online exhibition, as well as on the NAEA website. See the full online exhibit below.

“NAEA is proud to collaborate with the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies office on this competition as together we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Democracy Collection. Helping students explore what democracy means to them, and offering a national platform for expression and recognition in the visual arts, is invaluable. We congratulate all the students who were selected, those who entered the competition, as well as their art educators,” says Mario R. Rossero, NAEA Executive Director.

For inquiries, contact Krista Brooke:

Best in Show:

Daniel Rivera
Berlin, New York

News Feature: Berlin student’s artwork headed for Smithsonian

Regional Winners:

Zoey Duchene
Broomfield, Colorado

Ariel Luangkhot
Houston, Texas

Amera Van
Guyton, Georgia

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