EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A local teen’s oil painting is going congressional.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin held a ceremony Tuesday in East Lansing celebrating those who entered the 2023 Congressional High School Art Competition.

Around 63 students at 19 different schools in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District submitted their work for consideration.

But it was Okemos High School student Emma Li’s oil painting that won the judges over.

The sophomore’s work, titled “Homestyle,” illustrates a tableau of her grandfather cooking in his kitchen.

“Emma’s artwork captures an everyday scene with such remarkable poignancy, and I can’t wait to see it hanging in the U.S. Capitol building alongside some of the finest student artwork from across the country,” Slotkin said. 

Slotkin commended all of the students who submitted their work.

“It’s not easy to put a piece of yourself into the world to be judged, and these student artists all displayed tremendous courage,” she continued.

Other teens in the mid-Michigan area got honorable mentions, including:

  • “The Lute,” by Hartland High School student Breanna Zaborowksi
    • To be displayed in the Slotkin’s Washington, D.C. office
  • “Friendship” by Brighton High School student Caitlyn McKenzie
    • To be displayed in Slotkin’s Lansing district office
  • “Growth” by Janelle Ostrowski of Lansing Catholic High School
    • To be displayed in the visitor’s area of the district office
  • “Time Out” by Seraphim Rose Prince from Everett High School in Lansing
    • To be displayed in the visitor’s area of the district office

Congresswoman Slotkin also gave an special award, called the “Spirit of the 7th District,” to Lilliana Collins of Holt High School.

Collins’ comic strip showed the effects of the Feb. 13 shooting at Michigan State University, where her brother attends.

Clockwise from top left: Breanna Zaborowski (2nd place, “The Lute”), Caitlyn McKenzie (artist not pictured, 3rd place “Friendship”), Janelle Ostrowski (4th place, “Growth”), Seraphim Rose Prince (5th place, “Time Out), Lilliana Collins (Spirit of the 7th District, “Spartan Strong”) (Photo/Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin)